lesbian jungle


Vintage Paperback & Pulp Fiction Cover Art1966

“I don’t know why, but of all the girls I’ve had in my life, Renna has always been different … special … but I’m afraid things will never be the same between us. I’m a full-fledged butch, now, and I feel, at times, that it repels her”–Cover blurb.

Pretty had a large collection of lesbian vintage post cards in Bluestocking Books in the early 1990s, and one of them is now part of my little sandwich bag conglomerate collection of cards on my desk. Oh yes, I “rediscover” these gems periodically, and Lesbian Jungle is a favorite. Imagine.

Today I needed something fun to distract me from the Biden Administration’s recent disasters. Don’t get me wrong. I love Joe and the folks he has working for him but please don’t say drone s—-e, immigrants under b—-e in Del Rio, Texas. C—d anything. French ambassador r—-l. These words seriously make me cringe in horror today. You have to do better, Joe. Where is Kamala?

Instead, I bring you a cheerful picture of the cover of a lesbian pulp paperback published by Publishers Export Company in 1966. The cover artist was unknown, but Jeffrey Luther with PC Design copyrighted this post card of the cover in 1999. Thank goodness the French Line (see top left of post card) survives as hopefully my French followers who rank #4 on my international blog stats will, also. Please stay with me, Annie and Animal Couriers – what would we do without you?

I was interested to see that censorship of this particular literary genre in the 50s and 60s required the story to end unhappily for the lesbian heroine. There could be no happy homosexuals which probably explains the grumpy little girl in the picture frame next to the post card above. I know 100% she was too young to read lesbian pulp at the time she posed for this picture, but she already understood the endings.

It’s a jungle out there so stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated, and please stay tuned.

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is new Stop Sign a sign for me?


We have a new Stop Sign one block from our house on Cardinal Drive in West Columbia. Now why would our sleepy Westover Acres neighborhood require a new traffic warning, I wondered.

Does this have a deeper meaning for me? Hm. I wonder if my activism should become more “active” than sending words into cyberspace to create awareness of social injustice, the importance of family as a cornerstone of values I believe to be true, current events that shape our lives, and what else?

Oh well, more later…this is an unrelated photo from our back yard this week…

I ain’t no butterfly

Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

Posted in family life, Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

two thumbs up from Pretty


Leylah Fernandez fights hard but loses US Open final to Emma Raducanu -  Tennis Canada

Leylah Fernandez (l.) and Emma Raducanu at trophy ceremony

(Tennis Canada))

The last grand slam tennis tournament for 2021 is in the history books, my friends, and I have to say I loved it! The US Open brings the grand slam season to an end for this year, but the best of the best was saved for last according to my most reliable sources: Pretty and me.

Fernandez and Raducanu introduced themselves to the tennis world’s grandest stage in New York City with the effervescent smiles of their teenage years, but they brought mature tennis games filled with passionate desires to win along with that youth. Wow. What an inspirational duo. I have high hopes for the sport as well as the next generation of young women swinging rackets at barriers of national origin, race, gender and yes, my old nemesis sexual orientation.

Pretty gives US Open two thumbs up in 2021

Granddaughter Ella James was lost in thought as she studied the earth walking barefoot at DX2’s gorgeous place in the upstate at the lake – faithful dog Carl stood guard.

The hype, the drama of Novak Djokovic’s quest for a calendar grand slam died a painful death in the final to Daniil Medvedev who at age 25 is ranked #2 in the world in men’s singles. The New York crowd, on the other hand, roared its support for Djokovic in the final – often at inappropriate moments. Even though he lost the trophy in straight sets, Djokovic said in the presentation ceremony he was the happiest man in the world because the crowd had touched his heart. Perhaps, at last, this man’s search for love from the New York fans transformed his pain at losing the historic opportunity of winning the calendar grand slam.

Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, reacts to the crowd after losing to Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the men's singles final of the US Open tennis championships, Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo)

Novak Djokovic at trophy ceremony

No Williams Sisters, no Federer, no Nadal at this year’s US Open – I have thought of them often during the two weeks tournament. Twenty years of spectacular entertainment from these players who could bring me to tears of joy with their amazing victories or tears of sorrow in their defeats. One more match, one more tournament is what I wish for from these greats. But if they are done, thank you for your service – the future rests in a new generation of players who were inspired by your greatness.

Pretty and I give you all and the future two thumbs up.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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us open: a time to remember, a time to look forward


On September 08, 2001 Venus Williams won the women’s singles championship of the US Open Tennis Tournament in New York City for the second straight year (and for the last time) by defeating her younger sister Serena. It was the first Grand Slam final between sisters in 117 years – the media hype surrounding the match was intense, but the match ended in 69 minutes with a 6-2, 6-4 older sister win. I remember watching the Williams Sisters in the final but can’t remember which one I rooted for, probably the elder Venus. At the time I couldn’t anticipate the incredible impact these two women would have on their sport for the next two decades – both on and off the court – but their names are now synonymous with tennis greatness around the world.

I also could never have imagined what would happen a mere three days later in New York on a Tuesday morning, the 11th of September, when terrorists attacked our country including two planes that flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan – a short taxi ride away from the Billie Jean King Tennis Center, the site of the US Open tournament.

The 2021 women’s singles championship of the US Open will be played on September 11th., the 20th. anniversary of that terrorist attack. It is the first time since 2003 that neither Venus nor Serena will participate in the tournament. Both sisters (Venus, age 41 – Serena, age 40) cite injuries that prevent them from appearing. I must admit I feel my age and a little sad that I won’t have a Williams sister to watch. But hey, two teenagers who stand on their shoulders give me hope for not only the game but also the future.

Nineteen-year-old Leylah Fernandez is the daughter of an Ecuadorian father who is her coach, a mother from the Philippines who is her cheerleader in reserved seating during her matches. Leylah’s paternal grandparents are Peruvian. When asked about his immigration to Canada, her father Jorge said:

“I don’t want to get political. That’s not what I’m doing. What I’m telling you is we’re an immigrant family, and we had nothing. So, Canada opened up its doors, and if they wouldn’t, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities that I have. And I wouldn’t have been able to give them to my daughter. So, it means a lot.” (Sanket Nair, Essentially Sports)

The path to the women’s singles championship for Fernandez included wins over the #3 seed Naomi Osaka, #16 seed Angie Kerber, the #5 seed Elina Svitolina, and the #2 seed Aryna Sabalenka in the semi-final under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium Thursday night. She will play again on Ashe for the final today at 4:00 p.m. Her opponent will be another teenager, this one from Great Britain.

Emma Raducanu was born in Toronto, Canada to her parents Ian from Romania and Renee who is Chinese. When Emma was two years old, the family immigrated to England where she began playing tennis at the age of five. Raducanu’s appearance in the final of the US Open this year is the first of any qualifier in history (man or woman) to make a Grand Slam final, the first British woman to make a Slam final in 44 years, since Virginia Wade in 1977. (It was fun to see Virginia Wade watching from the stands at Ashe.)

Raducanu won 3 qualifying matches prior to making the 2021 US Open main draw, and her run to the Grand Slam women single’s championship included wins over #11 seed Belinda Bincic who won the Gold Medal at the Tokyo Oympics this summer, #17 seed Maria Sakkari in the second semi-final match under the Thursday night lights at Ashe Stadium by crushing our home girl South Carolina native Shelby Rogers in the 4th round of the Open. Rogers defeated the #1 player in the world, Ash Barty, in a three-set unexpected victory in the third round of the slam.

Fernandez celebrated her 19th birthday on September 06 at the Open with cupcakes that looked delicious – cupcakes she shared in the locker room with Raducanu and other players. She was born September 06, 2002, and Raducanu was born two months later on November 13th. Fernandez entered the US Open ranked 73rd in the WTA singles while Raducanu came in at 150th.

Their ratings will change after their performances at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center this year. Their lives will also change: new demands, higher expectations, instant celebrity, countless decisions for their financial futures. Regardless of who wins today, both of these teenage girls have secured a place in tennis history with opportunities for a fantastic future – a future built in part by the sacrifices of their families, Althea Gibson, the Williams Sisters and their female tennis cohort, and by the remarkable Original 9 that was the first group inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame this summer. Billie Jean King, Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Julie Heldman, Kristy Pigeon, Nancy Richey, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Judy Dalton and Kerry Melville Reid risked their careers by separating themselves from the tennis establishment to fight for equal rights with their male counterparts. When the winner deposits her check of $2.5 million, the same as the winner in the men’s championship, she can thank the Original 9.

Today, September 11th, we remember the tragedy of a terrorist attack against our country twenty years ago. As the names of those lost are read and as the bells remind us of that unspeakable horror, two immigrant teenage girls, one from Canada and one from the United Kingdom, teenagers who weren’t yet born on that day will improbably battle for a championship in New York City.

It’s the Women’s Singles Championship of the 2021 US Open Tennis Tournament – it’s more than a tennis match. It’s a glimpse of the future.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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time’s up: share the wealth


This is dedicated to all those who understand what laboring for “the Man” to line his pockets is all about. That Man in America has been getting wealthy while we work. Come on, Man. Time’s up: Share the Wealth.

2021 – 1978 = 43 years

Thanks to CBS Sunday morning today for this fact check, and thanks to individual companies like Costco (which is Pretty’s happy place) for raising their minimum wage to $16/hr in 2021 – more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25 set in 2009. Now, if only Congress would pass a Raise the Wage Act in 2021, or even if South Carolina would join 29 other states and the District of Columbia to adopt a new state minimum wage above the current federal $7.25…

But, as my daddy used to remind me, if wishes were horses, we’d all be riding.

Here’s to the workers who should be riding on Labor Day and every day.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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VAMOS! Oh, to be 18 again


Eighteen year old Carlos Alcaraz Garfia upset the #3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas under the Friday night lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2021 US Open Tennis Tournament last night to earn a trip to the fourth round in the second week of the tennis major – a victory intensified by the always enthusiastic New York City fans. Even from my bleacher seat in front of our tv I saw Hurricane Carlos blow through that stadium with every swing of his explosive forehand or the delicate touch of a well placed drop shot. The guy was magnificent with self confidence oozing toward his player box after every point whether he won it or lost it.

When Alcaraz won the fifth set in a thrilling tiebreak, I also felt the tennis world shift in cosmic concert with the fans. Move over, Nadal. You have company that will soon be vying for the top spots in tennis, and the last name is not Djokovich or Federer. This name is one that will roll off your tongue with perfect pronunciation because he shares your Spanish heritage. Carlos Alcaraz Garfia.

Who is Carlos Alcaraz Garfia? » FirstSportz

Nadal (l) and Alcaraz played in Madrid in May, 2021

photo from FirstSportz

Nadal won in two sets in the Madrid match but was effusive in his prediction of greatness for Alcaraz in his press conference following the match. “When you make a salad, you need the best ingredients. Carlos has the best ingredients for tennis,” said Nadal.

Rafa rocks the semis in the 2013 French against guess who? Djokovich

Tennis: Who is Carlos Alcaraz, the 17-year-old who could face Nadal at the  Madrid Open? | Marca

Alcaraz with the infamous Spanish Vamos to fire up himself –

and the fans

photo by Marca

Alcaraz wasn’t the only teenager with an upset last night; I was impressed by the play of the Canadian Leylah Fernandez. She came from behind to get the best of Naomi Osaka in a three set match. I thought her composure was impressive as Osaka lost a major battle with herself in a sizzling public meltdown. I fear we will not see Naomi again on a tennis court for a very long time, if ever.

Finally, what a pleasant surprise to check the scores this morning for the only match I couldn’t watch yesterday because it was played too late for these old tired eyes. American Frances Tiafoe upset the #5 seed Andrey Rublev in what must have been another great match. Another five setter that ended around 2 a.m. today. Whew – what an unbelievable week for tennis at the US Open which, by the way, has traditionally been my least favorite of the majors in the sport. Keep going, Frances – you’ve got spunk. I love spunk.

I have had the privilege of watching Venus and Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovich compete in tennis tournaments for the past 20 years. Looking back, I know how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity. Luckily, I have had the good sense to appreciate this so-called Golden Era.

Although the Williams sisters, Federer and Nadal have not competed in this year’s US Open, I am surprised I haven’t missed them as much as I expected. Forgive me, Nadal. You will always be first in my tennis heart of hearts, but I confess I have two new young guys whose energy, enthusiasm and excitement are creating new flutters in my tennis heart: 20 year old Italian Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. Their young hopes revitalize my old memories.

Please retire to a well deserved rest, Rafa. Your work is done – you have fought the good fight over and over again. Those who follow in your footsteps will rely on your awesome example.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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this is how Pretty rolls


Every three months for many years I have sent a small check from our joint account to the Animal Rescue Mission in Columbia. Pretty understands I have a macro overview of the world’s problems.

Pretty, on the other hand, puts this water bowl in the carport for a small cat who sleeps under our truck at night. She handles micro issues to rescue any animal she sees in need.

P. S. Before you ask, we had a small mysterious fire in our carport this week from spontaneous combustion of South Carolina heat with flammable substance of undetermined origin. Remains and ashes directly above water bowl.

Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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call for the Captain ashore, let me go home


In 2017 a study was done to determine what the first thoughts were when people woke up in the morning. According to Brooke Nelson in thehealthy.com, research found that “most Americans think first of money and work when they wake up – 56% of men and 48% of women, respectively.” Since I have very little of either, I am not surprised that my first thoughts almost every morning are lyrics to songs. Different songs every day.

During today’s 40-minute morning walk I began to sing (in my head) the song I woke up to a half hour before I started walking: the first verse and chorus of The Wreck of the John B as I remembered from The Kingston Trio recording in 1958. When Pretty reads this, she will be stunned that I remembered a verse and chorus of any song but I find I am more apt to remember words to songs in my childhood than any newer ones. Old age reminder. But why this song today?

So hoist up the John B’s sail
See how the main sail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I want to go home,
Well I feel so broke up
I want to go home
.

A Category 4 hurricane named Ida crashing against the Louisiana coast from the Gulf of Mexico, the remains of 13 American soldiers killed this past week in Afghanistan returned to the United States today, an undetermined number of Afghan refugees airlifted out of Kabul since last Sunday, and a pandemic that rises like a Phoenix to threaten every home – these are the current crises swirling in my brain. I believe I hear the voices of those who need a Captain ashore to help them when the homes they once knew are lost in an irreversible wreck.

The disasters in my life have usually been of my own making through broken relationships, wrong choices, cloudy thinking, faulty judgment. Home for me has been shaped by geography and redefined by time, but regardless of life’s experiences I also needed a Captain ashore that always came in the form of the persons who gave me safe harbors.

My hope as I go to sleep tonight is the song I woke up with this morning. Hoist up the John B.’s sails, see how the main sail sets, call for the Captain ashore, let me go home – may we all find Captains on new shores to lead us safely home.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and please stay tuned.

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a time to lose too much


Yesterday in Kabul thirteen American soldiers were killed along with at least 72 Afghan civilians as a massive airlift continued nonstop to meet the August 31st. deadline for leaving Afghanistan. According to a Reuters News report filed this morning more than 105,000 people were evacuated in the past 12 days while a group known as ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the carnage at the airport. Military leaders and other national security experts say the attacks were not totally unexpected since others had been thwarted in recent days. President Biden expressed his sorrow for the loved ones of all those killed in remarks at a press conference yesterday afternoon but warned again that the rescue mission in Afghanistan continues to be a dangerous one.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”— Ecclesiastes 3:1-8Holy Bible,(KJV)

Yesterday was a time to lose…too much.

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Tina and Elvis


My first major league concert was to see Brenda Lee perform in Houston when I was in the seventh grade in 1959. My daddy and mama took me to see her because I loved her songs and her singing when I was thirteen years old living in a small rural town in Grimes County near the Sam Houston National Forest deep in the Piney Woods of southeast Texas. I was raised on gospel music concerts in singing conventions at Bays Chapel Baptist Church on Sunday afternoons following dinner on the grounds. Good quartet singing with different relatives participating, good piano playing by the greatest gospel piano player of all time Charlie Taliaferro.

I can’t imagine either one of my parents spending money to buy the tickets – much less driving me nearly 80 miles from Richards to Houston for the Brenda Lee concert unless they had planned a side trip to the Bargain Gusher to look for clothes for work. What I remember most about my first concert experience was the large number of strings hanging from Brenda’s petticoats. We must have had binoculars; she must have been without a wardrobe person that night.

Through the years my memories of musical concert experiences include Neil Diamond, Elton John, Diana Ross, Dolly and Kenny, Dolly by herself, the Judds (twice), Cher, K.T. Oslin, Bette Midler, Patti LaBelle, Cynthia Clawson (in church – does that count?), Willie Nelson (twice), Nancy Griffith, Alison Kraus, Melissa Etheridge, the Indigo Girls and the infamous Prince concert for my 65th. birthday. Infamous because Prince was one of Pretty’s favorites – we had great tickets, but I listened from the steps of an exit at the Colonial Life Arena – the decibels were intended for younger ears than mine.

What I think about today, however, are the two performers I had the opportunity to see but passed on for whatever lame reason I had at the time: Elvis and Tina Turner. For the life of me I find these two blanks on my concert cards the most troubling since Elvis’s Golden Records released in 1958 was the first lp album I ever owned. My grandmother’s sister, my Aunt Dessie from Houston, gave the album to me because she knew I had a portable turn table in a small square blue box that would play it. She was right – I played that album over and over again. Thank goodness the turn table was sturdy.

Elvis was the young man with sideburns who promised to spend his whole life through loving you which I interpreted as loving me, but he was then drafted into the Army during the Korean War. I couldn’t believe the government was that cruel when Elvis sang they shouldn’t be. Yes, Elvis, the man whose musical career I followed throughout his life from sex symbol to husky size. He made sixteen personal appearances in Houston between 1954 and 1976, but I saw Brenda Lee.

Elvis also sang one concert at the Carolina Coliseum here in Columbia on February 18, 1977…six months before he died. I remember thinking I ought to go since I lived within 15 minutes of the coliseum – but opted to wait for a later time that was not to be. As for Tina Turner – what was happening in my life that would prevent my attending her concerts at that same Carolina Coliseum in 1985 or 1987 or 1993? Pretty told me she saw Tina with her sister Darlene at the 1985 concert – in her BS (before Sheila) years. That’s Pretty for you – naturally she wouldn’t want to miss Tina’s hits like What’s Love Got to Do With It?, Private Dancer, Nutbush City Limits, We Don’t Need Another Hero, and my all-time favorite of favorites Proud Mary. Clearly I missed the Tina personal appearance boat, but wait. All was not lost.

Thanks to the 21st. century miracles of You Tube videos I’ve had the best seat in the house at Tina Turner’s concerts in Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, Rio – I’ve joined tens of thousands of fans at some of the largest venues in the world. I’ve drooled as I watched Tina perform Proud Mary with Beyonce at the Grammy Awards – and shed a tear during a special performance of Simply the Best on the intimate set of the Oprah Winfrey Show for Oprah’s 50th. birthday celebration where she and Tina embraced after they danced together. Oh yeah, I’ve seen Tina in concerts, in interviews, in a documentary of her life – the good news is I can watch her whenever I want to, as often as I like and not have to worry about the person in front of me being too tall.

Pretty indulges my Tina time with a smile of understanding, even encouragement. She still owes me for Prince.

As for the old Elvis You Tube experience, count Pretty out.

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Stay safe, stay sane, please get vaccinated and stay tuned.

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