Every year, anywhere from the first week of January to the first week in March, we are honored by a visit from a pair of Canada geese. They build their nest on an island in a pond adjacent to our property. The hitch is that it is only an island if it is not a drought year and the water level has come up sufficiently. Otherwise it is just a large clump of dirt in the middle of a huge hole in the ground.

Coyotes like to make a meal out of geese, so it is critical that there is a moat around their birthing grounds. We never know whether there will be enough rain to fill the hole. The Canadas send scouts ahead to make sure it is safe to camp here for the spring and summer. We got lucky this year. The pond is a pond and the geese have arrived.

We think the arrivals are a pair from previous years because when they came close to the back yard they did not fly away when I approached them. I tossed some cracked corn for them, but they didn’t seem especially interested. That will change.

There is a regular routine to building trust. Even though these geese probably have some memory of us buried deep in the back of their little bird brains, they are still cautious at the outset. As time passes, they come closer and enjoy the food we provide.

We will see them both floating on the pond for several weeks. Then, we will only see the male. That means Mother Goose is setting the eggs she has added to the nest one at a time in those weeks that we saw both of them.

The countdown begins.

It takes 21 days to hatch a goose egg. So, three weeks from the day Mom disappears—give or take a couple of days—we can expect to see little fuzz-balls floating on the pond. I say give or take a couple of days because the female has to put the kids through basic training. First she has to waterproof them so they don’t sink. She does that by applying goose oil to their fluffy little bottoms. That done, it’s off to swimming lessons.

I’m sure they go through Survival 101, which consists of Mom telling them that if some critter arrives that is larger than they are—and, at this point, that’s just about everyone—they should skadaddle as fast as their tiny web feet can propel them.

As Tarzan must certainly have said to Jane, “It’s a jungle out there.”

As the weeks go by they will grow larger and larger and come closer and closer to us for their twice-daily rations. By July they will be milling right around our feet, with Dad hissing at us. He knows we’re not going to hurt his babies, but part of the Dad Code requires that he hiss a warning, just in case.

Then, one day we will hear honking. It will mean Pop Goose and the little ones—that are no longer little—are in flight training to prepare them to fly away and join the larger flock to get ready to migrate.

No more than two days later, they are gone without a goodbye or a honk of thanks.

It is always a sad day and the best we can do is hope they will come back to us next year.


Books by Steve Liddick: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=steve+liddick

Steve LiddickAuthor of “All That Time,” “Old Heroes,” “Prime Time Crime,” “Sky Warriors,” “But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting,” “A Family Restaurant is No Place for Children,” “Campsite Gourmet: Fine Dining on the Trail and on the Road,” and “Eat Cheap: A Cookbook and Guide To Stretching Your Food Budget Dollars.”



My first car was a 1931 Model A Ford sedan. I don’t think Ford called it a sedan. Probably some snooty name like “touring car.”

It cost $50.00 and took me all summer working at a gas station to pay for it. I recently paid $75.00 just to fill up the gas tank on my Chevy pickup truck. For that kind of money I could have bought one-and-a-half Model A Fords. Unfortunately, it’s not 1953 anymore.

I loved that car. But, of course, everyone loves his first car. Having a four-wheeled escape pod meant there was now a whole reachable world out there to explore. Prior to that, I couldn’t get any farther away from home than my bicycle would take me.

As kindly as I felt toward that car, it was also the cause of one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.

I was driving on a road that took me over Ore Bank Hill, on the curviest road in the county. Once you reached the top, it was a steep downhill run for several miles, with nasty switch-backs and curves not banked to accommodate speeding vehicles and centrifugal force.

As I chugged to the top of the hill and started down the other side, I came to the first curve. I was picking up more speed than I was comfortable with, so I slammed on the brake. Teenagers do that a lot. Nothing subtle about most anything they do. A gentle pressing of the brake is not in a teen’s playbook.

Well, the Model A had a rod that connected the foot pedal to the mechanical braking system under the car. The problem was, the rod was made of cast iron. Cast iron does not handle slamming very well and it snapped, leaving me in near free-fall. Those old cars had no compression to help hold the speed down and it was impossible to down-shift in those pre-synchromesh transmission days.

So there I was, on the scariest road imaginable, careening downhill in a top-heavy vehicle with no brakes. I was seventeen years old and certain I would never see eighteen, whipping this way and that, wrestling the non-power steering wheel, skinny 21-inch tires squealing at every curve, picking up speed for several hair-raising miles.

Finally, I got to the bottom of the hill and was able to coast to a stop. Thinking back to that experience I wonder once more how I managed to survive my youth.

Anyone who doesn’t believe in God has never ridden a Model A Ford with no brakes down Ore Bank Hill.


Books by Steve Liddick: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=steve+liddick

Steve LiddickAuthor of “All That Time,” “Old Heroes,” “Prime Time Crime,” “Sky Warriors,” “But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting,” “A Family Restaurant is No Place for Children,” “Campsite Gourmet: Fine Dining on the Trail and on the Road,” and “Eat Cheap: A Cookbook and Guide To Stretching Your Food Budget Dollars.”


CAMPSITE GOURMEThttps://www.amazon.com/Campsite-Gourmet-Fine-Dining-Trail/dp/0999157590/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519612501&sr=1-6&keywords=steve+liddick&dpID=51uW9D5MsCL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

* * * * * * *

Discontent with the federal government is at a level not seen since the Nixon administration four decades ago.

What’s to be done about it?

Well, we could clean house all around; vote the whole bunch of them out of office. But there is plenty of motivation for those officeholders to stay on the job. Where else could they get health care coverage and retirement plans like that? Not to mention the other perks of office: trips to exotic places to allegedly study this and that. They don’t like to call those trips “junkets” because that sounds too much like what they are: unnecessary luxury freebies at taxpayer expense.

It can cost millions of dollars to win a U.S. Senate or House of Representatives seat that pays $174,00 a year plus health care and retirement benefits far greater than the average American will ever enjoy. And they are fully vested after serving just five years in office. A Senator who has served a single six-year term can retire to a lifetime of luxury. A Representative who serves three two-year terms, likewise.

Ask any voting American—and many who don’t vote, but complain about the situation—what should be the first step toward getting a Congress that actually works in the taxpayer’s interests and you will get the same answer: vote the rascals out.

However, they don’t mean their rascals, they mean your rascals. When election time comes around they routinely vote for the incumbent in their district. “It’s the Senator in Montana who should be kicked out” says the voter in Missouri. “It’s the Congressman in Pennsylvania who should be shown the door,” says the voter from Utah. The power of the incumbency is staggering. In part it is because the person who already holds that office has all manner of promotional opportunities at his and her disposal: free U.S. Mail services; appearance before the media to sing their own praises. The incumbent’s prospective challenger has no such platform.

The number of Senators and Representatives in Congress whose personal fortunes grew while in office is staggering. More than a few Congress members who were dead broke when they took office have retired as millionaires.

Keep in mind that they make the laws that give them those special benefits.

I once knew a state senator—I won’t mention the state—who owned a new car dealership. He didn’t take cash under the table. That would have been illegal. But he did sell a lot of cars to CEOs of companies maneuvering for his support the next time a vote came up that favored that company.

Here is another myth that needs to be debunked. Lawmakers seldom write the laws and industry regulations they sponsor. Those are frequently written by lobbyists who represent special interests. They are full of loopholes that, in effect, mean there is no regulation at all. When confronted with a violation, the company representatives can simply say, “We followed the law.” The law he wrote.

And here is another sad fact: Except for how it affects their chances for reelection and keeping them out of prison, these violators of the public trust don’t really care what you think about it. They will continue to do whatever benefits them.

This November, vote for the opposing candidate so the person you voted out of office can join a lobbying firm and make some real money.

Steve Liddick

Author of “All That Time,” “Old Heroes,” “Prime Time Crime,” “Sky Warriors,” “But First This Message: A Quirky Journey in Broadcasting,” “A Family Restaurant is No Place for Children,” “Campsite Gourmet: Fine Dining on the Trail and on the Road,” and “Eat Cheap: A Cookbook and Guide To Stretching Your Food Budget Dollars.”



Face it, we have all run away from something at some point in our lives. Some things seem easier to avoid than to confront.

Given the choice of fleeing or staying, human nature says we will usually choose the easier option.

Running from a particular situation or an unfulfilling life in general in the hope there is something better ahead is seldom realized. After all, we take ourselves with us everywhere we go.

The dynamics that caused our unrest at the scene of the original discontent are likely to be applied at the next stop. Each of us is a walking, talking Petri dish that—unless we radically change our behaviors—will use our attitudes, prejudices, preferences, expectations, and limitations to brew more of the same stew.

As someone said, “Insanity is doing the same over and over again and expecting different results.”

In the case of flight instructor Jeff Burke and his student, Pete Sunderland, in the novel, Sky Warriors, each was living a life bogged down in unrelenting sameness. Although from very different backgrounds, their discontent was equally intolerable and each was convinced there was nothing to be done about it.

action, adventure, fiction, novelWhen Pete suggests they take a cross-country trip so he can learn to fly under a multitude of weather and airport conditions they take the first step toward doing something different to achieve a different result.

Along the way they happen upon Native Americans whose level of hopelessness was similar—although far more intense—to their own.

By applying their own experiences Jeff and Pete hope to improve the lives of the Indians and, by doing so, bring fulfillment to their own.

Sky Warriors is available in paperback on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sky-Warriors-Steve-Liddick/dp/0999157558/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1511542117&sr=8-4&keywords=steve+liddick



In the mid 1980’s I had the privilege of meeting some veterans of the 158th Regimental Combat Team, aOLD HEROES - Platform World War II U.S. Army fighting outfit that had been known as the “Bushmasters.” They were attending an East Coast reunion of their old unit near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Bushmasters took their name from a deadly snake in Panama where the men trained before entering the war in the South Pacific. There they were turned into what was to become known as one of the toughest, most feared American combat units in the Pacific Theater.

When I arrived at the reunion hotel, I was slightly surprised to find a room full of old men. What should I have expected? After all, it was four decades since the end of their war. It occurred to me as I looked at the gray-haired veterans to wonder what it was that made them the fierce fighters so revered by General Douglas MacArthur and so dreaded by Japanese soldiers who had the misfortune of facing them in the jungles and on the beaches in the South Pacific.

While talking with the men, I heard story upon story of incidents during the years they spent in battles from New Guinea to the Philippines. Some of the tales, frankly, appeared far-fetched. But, with each anecdote, twenty or so other men standing within earshot would nod, validating events related by the others.

I happened to mention that some of the incidents sounded familiar and asked whether their stories had ever been dramatized in the movies.

The laughter was deafening.

“Yeah,” one of the men said. “A lot of movies. But the films were usually about the U.S. Marines.”

The 158th was not a large force. It began as an Arizona National Guard unit with approximately three-thousand men. It was an unusually small group considering the big job ahead. Still, undermanned and the odds weighed heavily against them on so many occasions, the American soldiers won the day . . . and a great many terrifying nights.

As Japanese troops who went up against them soon learned, being compared with the reputation of the venomous snake from which the Bushmasters got their name was a frightening understatement.

Most striking was the fact that these old men had retained their humanity. These were not cold killers. They were people just like those we see in the supermarket aisles and those with their families next to us in restaurants, in theater lines, and at the gas pumps. Something happened to them out there that turned those “ordinary” men into extraordinary warriors.

It was their job to save the world. And they did.

There were other WWII combat units, of course. I just happened to have met these men personally. I’m certain other outfits also fought hard and well. “Old Heroes” is a work of fiction. The idea came to me after my brief meeting with the real-life veterans and convinced me that under similar circumstances today, even at their advanced ages, these men and others like them would rise to the challenge again, just as they had during those terrible war years so long ago.

Those I encountered that day in a hotel meeting room and all the men who fought and died on those South Pacific islands deserve my best effort in honoring them. OLD HEROES is a novel that was done with great affection and respect. I hope all those who participated in the war will accept this work in the admiring spirit intended.

Steve Liddick, Author


OLD HEROES is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Old-Heroes-Steve-Liddick/dp/097141937X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472406493&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=steve+liddick



I suppose it’s human nature to be wary of an individual who has offended, injured, disrespected, or committed a crime against us. It is natural to be reluctant to allow that person to ever get close to us again or to enjoy a position of trust.
But is it right to distrust an entire race, religion, occupational group, or political body because of the actions of a few? That kind of thinking got Japanese-Americans imprisoned during WWII. They looked like the enemy, so they were treated like the enemy and locked up—just in case.
There is a theory making the rounds these days that, since a group of terrorists using Islam as its umbrella organization is forcing a malignant version of Islam on the world, then all followers of Islam must also be bad and all Muslims should be booted out of America and no more allowed in.
There were good Germans during World War II who fought against the Nazis and supported the Jews that were so hated by Adolph Hitler and his evil band of followers. There are Muslims who resent that their religion has been hijacked by a band of thugs that believes that those who do not think as they do should be killed.
As difficult as it might be to believe, there are more good members than bad ones in our gridlocked Congress. Crooked, self-serving politicians are in the minority. The other kind are in the news, hungry for your attention and their aspirations for re-election and higher office.
There are a lot of good cops out there, working to make their cities and towns safe. It is wrong to target all police because of a few rogues.
Let’s not punish the honorable and the innocent while punishing the guilty.
Let’s not treat everyone like the worst one


Proof of how people pull together in a crisis happens all around us nearly every week. When a madman killed 49 people in an Orlando club, the entire community pulled together. We all remember Boston after the marathon bombing. Strangers came to the rescue of the injured. It happens in war, too. Soldiers faced daily with death rely on each other as they never had in civilian life.
Why then, can’t we find that kind of reliance on each other in everyday life?
The answer may be that we are too comfortable. Nothing in the physical sense is threatening us in an average day.
Maybe what the world needs is a great tragedy to bring us all together. Sad, isn’t it, that the only way we give of ourselves is in an emergency; one that requires us to be reliable so that we can rely on others for our own protection.
There are people out there who could benefit from what we know and what we can do that they do not have the skills, knowledge or resources to do for themselves.
I’d like to see a world-wide outreach movement; people doing good, helping others just because it’s the right thing to do, not just for self-preservation.
And let’s do it before the pandemic, the terrorist attack, the famine, the economic collapse. If you understand that you will have to do it then, you need to understand that you have to do it now.

Steve Liddick, Author of “All That Time.”


Babies see themselves as the center of the universe. They expect to be indulged. For the most part, they are. Left to their own devices children can be selfish and demanding. Taken to the extreme they can try to dominate others physically and psychologically. As they grow out of their babyhood they are expected to learn consideration for others. Unless that behavior is interrupted in the formative years antisocial behavior will become more pronounced as they grow to adolescence and adulthood. It’s up to the parents to show the child that, while a certain degree of assertiveness is acceptable as a way of making their way in the world, the instinct must be moderated in the very young before it can turn into unacceptable behavior beyond adolescence; spousal abuse, criminal assault, sexual assault, workplace aggression, etc.




Being bullied in childhood can have a devastating effect on the victim well into his and her adult years. Similar to combat trauma where the victim suffers flashbacks, low self-esteem, a lack of professional success and personal fulfillment. For many, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can ruin lives as surely in a child as if their trauma came from a wartime battlefield.
Bullies go for the weak, the quiet, the “different.” Victims are often afraid to tell anyone the problem for fear of making things worse . . . or that no one will believe them.
It is imperative that parents, friends, school officials learn to recognize the signs: changes in behavior; suddenly getting lower grades in school; withdrawn; spending too much time alone.
Anyone witnessing bullying should step in on behalf of the victim and report such incidents to those who can do something about it, including law enforcement.
The just published novel, “All That Time” deals with the effects of childhood bullying that linger in a 55-year-old university computer science professor. A trip back in time to his adolescence gives him a new perspective on what happened to him.



Is there more child abuse today than in the past or are we just hearing more about it in this hyper-communication era? Sometimes it seems as though there is a fiend on every street corner in America. My novel, All That Time deals in part with a case of child sexual abuse in the 1960s and how it was resolved.