• Summary

  • C. Jane Taylor reads her essays and love letters on life, beauty, fun, motorcycles, and animals for your amusement and edification.
    © 2022 C. Jane Reads
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  • Nov 16 2021

    Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots was a plastic boxing match game marketed to kids in the early 70s. From opposite corners of a 14 x 14 plastic tabletop boxing ring surrounded by plastic rope—no chance to “rope a dope” here—two seven-inch-tall plastic robots with outsized fists in molded plastic gloves threw punches at one another when you pressed the buttons on the control lever on your side of the ring. You could adjust the angle and frequency of attack by moving the lever back and forth and pressing the buttons more rapidly with your thumbs. 

    I think my sister Ann and I had one. Or this may be a false memory implanted by years of television commercials on that little black and white set. I’m not sure. I seem to remember pressing the buttons and moving the lever. It must be a real memory as I was never a big fan of those kinds of games. I did not like pinball or later, Pac Man. I’m not a fan of the X-Box. Though I really loved those electric air hockey games whose puck glided on jets of cool air pouring up through tiny holes in the surface of the imitation “rink.” The puck floated there as if magically suspended in time and space between my net and that of my opponent. The sound of the paddle meeting the puck swaks in my mind’s ear as I type this now. 

    These games of childhood come back to me as I contemplate today’s writing prompt: The ideal versus the reality...


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    5 mins
  • Apr 15 2021

    One-hundred-fifty-six years ago today, Abraham Lincoln was struck down in the blush of youth. Honest Abe was not a babe, he was 56. His presidency was in the blush of its youth. 

    I am older now than he was when he went to the theatre. It is amazing for me to imagine that I have made it this far. It’s not that I have lived a dangerous life of drugs and debauchery, but that my imagination as a child—when I worshipped Lincoln because of Black friends and a children’s book depicting Honest Abe holding a friend upside down over his head so that he could walk with muddy feet upon the ceiling of Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s immaculately clean log cabin in Kentucky—could not conjure the notion of a me so old as I am today. Older than the great man himself, who was indeed very old and with wrinkles and a tall hat. 

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    3 mins
  • Feb 10 2021

    If my dharma were the pursuit of truth, I’d not be here tapping these keys right now. I’d have never left welding, where everything is black and white. Well, it’s really black and silver or sometimes black and copper; there are no gray areas. A weld is either a good one or a bad one. There is no in-between. You have to bring the metal up to the right temperature, use the right mix of oxygen and acetylene, the right flux. It can be fiddly, but there’s no getting around a good weld. It’s truer than the metal it unites. Period.

    Other things, like the future or what a dog thinks, are not as straightforward. 

    On Saturday morning, a chickadee hit the sliding glass door and fell to the snow. I heard the clunk of its little head on the cold glass only in retrospect. At the time, I didn’t consciously notice it until my dog Dewey brought it to my attention. He whined and whimpered at the lower corner of the big glass door. Pinned to the spot, he looked out with concern. When I finally got his message, I went out onto the porch and scooped the unconscious bird into my hands. 

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    7 mins

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