Archive for the ‘Chet The Dog’ Category

Pub Note


January 26th, 2023 Posted 8:12 am

Pub schedule for 2023: Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge – July 25; Up On The Woof Top – October 17. Both are available for pre-order, although only the cover art for Mrs. P is showing right now, the cover art not yet done for Up On The Woof Top (the next Chet and Bernie).

In answer to many questions, Mrs. P is not a Chet and Bernie story. Occasionally a non-C&B idea pops up in my mind demanding my attention. For example, there was The Right Side a few years back. The tone and story of Mrs. Plansky’s Revenge are very different from The Right Side (the tone of which is certainly darker) and Mrs. P herself is very unlike LeAnne Hogan, the main character of The Right Side, although they have one thing in common: Under duress, they each find something strong and unexpected within.

But my main point is that I am very sure that readers who like the Chet and Bernie stories will also like Mrs. P. Secondary point: there’s lots more Chet and Bernie to come. Please feel free to share this post with friends who like to read.



A Little History


January 25th, 2023 Posted 8:09 am

Today we turn things over to reader Amy Broughman who very nicely sends us this:
On this date in 1925, the Great Race of Mercy, also known as the 1925 serum run, began in Nenana, Alaska. An outbreak of Diptheria was killing children in the remote town of Nome, and the resident doctor (Curtis Welch) did not have nearly enough antitoxin to control the spread of the disease.
Alaska was remote in those days and it was determined that the antitoxin could only be transported by dog sled. Serum was located and brought to Nenana by rail to be transported the 674 miles to Nome. Twenty mushers and over 150 dogs, four of whom would die in the attempt, were quickly assembled and covered the 670+ miles in a record-breaking 127.5 hours in one of the worst blizzards Alaska had ever seen, some temps falling to 80 degrees below zero in gale force winds.
The average leg of the run was 31 miles. Musher Leonhard Seppala and his best, albeit oldest, dog Togo ran an astounding 264 miles in service to the serum and those whose lives were at risk, a feat unmatched today.
Also noteworthy is that Balto, another of Seppala’s lead dogs, ran the final 53-mile leg into Nome with another musher and received the accolades Seppala felt should have been Togo’s, including a statue in New York’s Central Park. Balto was a good lead dog as well but largely untested, especially in such wicked conditions, and his leg of the run presented few problems (he was able to recover the trail when his musher, Gunnar Kaasen, was forced to go off-trail due to snowbanks too large to negotiate).
Togo was a hero among lead dogs. Lead dogs, in particular, were of the utmost importance and had to display many talents that the other dogs lacked (confidence and motivation, agility, strength, ability to lead and control the other dogs in the team, problem-solving intelligence, stamina, and an innate sense of hazards such as thin or cracking ice, and the capacity to ignore a musher’s command that might lead the team into danger). The fact that Togo was a small dog (approximately 45 lbs) compared to the breed standard of 50-65 lbs and was 12 years old at the time of the run makes his accomplishment all the more incredible.
The Great Race of Mercy still represents one of the most collaborative efforts ever accomplished.
Below: Seppala and Togo (far left).

Musical Interlude: Song For Chet


January 24th, 2023 Posted 8:05 am

Some nice things can happen in what my grandmother called “the writing game.” For example, we have this song that came out of Heart of Barkness, the Chet and Bernie novel about a fading country singer. A real song! Emmy Award winning Bob Edwards produced and made it happen, and also created this video. Mitch Watkins wrote the music. (I did the words.) The fiddle solo is by Gene Elders.


From an English Lesson in a Far Off Land


January 23rd, 2023 Posted 8:29 am

“Hello, it’s me, your grandson, insert name here,” Dinu said.
“Much better,” said Professor Bogdan. “You might even say Yo, it’s me.”
“On my last trip I heard a lot of yo. Even my brother says it.”
“Your brother in New Hampshire?”
“No P sound. And sher, not shire. But yes, my brother.”
“The brother who is owning a business?”
“Who owns a business. Bogdan Plumbing and Heating.”
Professor Bogdan opened a drawer, took out a T-shirt and tossed it to Dinu.
Dinu shook it out, held it up, took a look. On the front was a cartoon-type picture of a skier with tiny icicles in his bushy black mustache, brandishing a toilet plunger over his head. On the back it said: “Bogdan Plumbing and Heating, Number 1 in the Granite State.”
Dinu made a motion to hand it back.
“Keep it,” said Professor Bogdan.
“Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. New Hampshire is the Granite State. All the states have nicknames.”
“What is nicknames?”
“Like pet names. For example, what does your mother call you?”
Professor Bogdan blinked a couple of times. Like the skier, he had a bushy mustache, except his was mostly white. “Texas is the Lone Star State, Florida is the Sunshine State, Georgia is the Peach State.”
“They have a Georgia of their own. They have everything, Dinu, although – “ He leaned across the desk and pointed at Dinu with his nicotine-stained finger. “Although most of them don’t realize it and complain all the time just like us.”
[Coming July 25, pre-orderable]

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