Murdo Girl…Going for the gold beans

It is a bright, and only slightly cool day in Murdo. There is just a hint of a breeze. A perfect day to be in the Rose Garden Room. So why is everybody gathered in the cold, dark, and musty Brick House Gym? (Where there is still the odor of foul smelling gym socks in the air.)

The team is seated in folding chairs with a TV tray in front of them. They are enjoying a Continental breakfast consisting of a choice of chocolate covered or powdered sugar Debbie’s donuts, Tang, and coffee. Murdo Girl is about to introduce today’s speaker.

Murdo Girl: Welcome team, and I use that term loosely. It appears there have been some snarky remarks flying around. I was very disappointed to hear this from my spy. Have you all forgotten what it means to be a Coyote?

A I the Next Pres’s Spy

Lav waves her hand.

Murdo Girl: Yes Lav, What is it?

Lav is growing beans in her Royal Garden. What a Champ!?!


Lav: Coyotes snarl. They howl at the moon too! I saw one when we were still at the Campground Compound. I don’t think anyone can really know for sure what it’s like to be a Coyote though.

Murdo Girl: Okay..Try to stay with me Lav. You are so easily distracted. Is that your gardening crown? I love it! Did you get that when you went crown shopping with Treason?

Murdo Girl Continues

All of you listen up!! Surely you have felt the self-loathing that comes with failure. It doesn’t feel very good does it? (slight pause for effect.) We have lost sight of our mission.We haven’t taken the steps that must be stepped in order to reach our stated goals. Well team Coyote, we’re playing with the big boys now. The time of moving mindlessly through our days is over…Yes, when you leave here today, you will leave with the knowledge and skills to reach all kinds of little bitty goals and then finally…The big kahuna goal. It is only after we have done the labor intensive work, can we reap the rewards of success. Then my fellow Coyotes, our mission will be accomplished.

Wait..I forgot without malice or forethought. That was supposed to be in there somewhere. 

Now.. before we get started, a couple of housekeeping items. You all know where the little girl’s and boy’s rooms are. We should be finished with our training by the time the noon whistle blows. I see you’re all dressed casually..Good!


Now if you will please help me welcome  Mr. McKernan who was one of my teachers back in the day. I guess you could say we sort of have him to thank for my Next Pres win.

Goal setting training facilitator 2016

Clap clap, and so on and so forth.

Mr. Mck: I’m pleased to be here, now let’s get this over with. I mean let’s get started. (He has the look of a man who is thinking,”whuoh..It’s all coming back to me.”)

On the TV trays in front of you, there are 8 puzzle pieces. I would like you to use all of the pieces and put them together in the shape of a Coyote. I will give you 3 minutes.

Mr. Mck walks around as the team members try to complete their task. Carol raises her hand and sings a question. (She sings everything she says.)

Carol: Singing..Oh, here’s my Murdo Coyote, I’m bound to win. She is holding up her paper.

Treason: I’m our  Liaison to the Murdo Coyote Newspaper, so I should know what a Coyote looks like, and I don’t care how you sing it Carol, that does not resemble a Coyote. Whatever it is, it looks dead.

Mr. McK: Times up!  Now let’s take a look. I can see that none of you made the kind of Coyote I wanted you to. The reason being… I didn’t tell you what kind of Coyote I wanted you to make. He picks up a picture of a sleeping Coyote. Now team..What have you learned from this exercise?

A I: Where on God’s green Earth did you see a sleeping Coyote? You don’t just walk by a sleeping Coyote and casually say, “Oh my, there’s a sleeping Coyote. Isn’t he cute? Ya gotta admit the spy makes sense.

Jerry: This is very interesting. Do Coyotes eat beans? My whole life is about beans. red beans, navy beans, jumping beans, pinto beans. I just want to make sure this applies to a Bean guy.

Jerry the Bean Machine

Mr McK: I SAID TIME IS UP, Time is up, time’s up…..

The Town Cryer: HEAR YEA, Hear yea, Hear ye…shsh..Mr. Mck, you can’t talk that loud, there is an echo in here that will make you hold your ears and run screaming to your momma.

04-Town Cryer

Mr McK: The point is you couldn’t make the kind of Coyote I wanted, because I didn’t give you that information. You have to know what the end is supposed to look like, before you can begin. You have to write SMART goals. Specific , Measurable, Achievable, Reachable, and Timed…Can I go now?

Sherri the Photographic Drawer: Hey look Mr. McK, I drew mine and he looks like he’s sleeping. Do I win?1-Pencil packin Sherri-001

Before Murdo Girl has a chance to say anything, Mr. McK quickly packs up his stuff and heads for the door. He runs smack dab into the Defense Monitor, (DM for short), followed by the Person in Charge of Brick House Functions, ( Pico for short.)

DM: Hey Mr. McK: Do you feel harassed and defenseless? Are you spending more time being…..S T R E S S E D instead of enjoying your just D E S S E R T S? Have you spent your whole life being the victim instead of a hero? I don’t mean to assume anything, but I’m really knowledgeable in this sort of thing, and I recognize, “The Look of defeat.”

Mr McK: NO!!., but you can sign me up for your defensive driving course, because I’m pretty sure I’m about to run over somebody.

Pico: Oh hi Mr. McK..finished already? Follow me to my office in the English Room. I’m in charge of functions, so I’ll be the one to pay you. I have some beans for you on my desk. Now, let’s put our hands together and clap for Mr. McK

Pico and DM

Not knowing what else to do the team claps a little then just sits there. Because of the echo, you only really have to clap once or twice.

Murdo Girl: Well since it’s only 9:30, lets take a 30 minute break and come back here and shoot some baskets. You all worked hard this morning, and our bodies need some moving around too. We’ll have to clear out when the 3rd grade gets here to have their pictures taken.1-IMG_20160810_0001

One more thing before you go. Please write this down. I’m giving you The 2016 Coyote Administration Mission Statement.

The 2016 Coyote Administration Mission Statement

We the willing, led by the unknowing, will do the impossible for the ungrateful. We will improve our people skills, by hanging out with better people. We will lower our expectations when needed. Some days, the best thing about working here, will be that the chair swivels. Some days when you get here, you’ll have to tell yourself, in three hours, I’ll only have five hours left. The most important thing you need to remember, is when you’re feeling down,

Don’t forget the perks



from left..I’m Blake, MG’s cousin and acting Attorney General. Please tell me she didn’t read that Mission Statement. Can you believe Airforce .0001? The guy on the left is Lav’s Dad Al. We just call him La. 

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What is Nepotism? 




Murdo Girl….Making Adjustments

It’s Monday Morning in the town that bears the moniker of the famous Murdo McKenzie. If one more person says, “Give me an M,” I’m going to manifest a murder!

Anyway, Murdo Girl is at the Brick House meeting with the contractor to go over some renovation ideas.

Murdo Girl: Thank you Mr. Man, for coming over on such short notice. Are you any relation to Mrs. Man?

snow hat barney

Mr. Man: No mam. There is no Mrs. Man. As a matter of fact, I don’t have any family here in the metropolis of Murdo. I just moved here from Martin. I heard you might be needing a good architect. This Brick House has been sitting on this mini mountain for a very long time and I’m sure it’s going to need a lot of work (sniff).

Brick house

Murdo Girl: Oh Yeah. Say,  I have some pressing Next Pres business to take care of, so I’m going to turn you over to the Person In Charge of Brick House Functions.

Pico: Nice to meet you Mr. Man. Like the White House in Washington, we want The Brick House to be attractive yet practical. We’re going to name our rooms too. The White House has The Lincoln Bedroom. This room over here is going to be named Peters Perch. The room down the hall and on the left, is Deidtrich Den. The room over there, watch your step.. used to be the bookkeeping and typing room. It will be called Nash Nook. The room that used to be the history room will be called, The Rose Garden. There is no way we can grow roses outside, so we’re just going t get some cheap vases and plastic roses at The Gamble’s Store.

Pico..Person in charge of Brick House Functions

You might be asking why we didn’t name the History classroom after Coach Applebee. With all due respect, we are not going to name one more thing after him or Mr. Thune. They took up the whole Auditorium. Up those stairs right there, is where the Superintendent’s office used to be. Now of course, it will be the Next Pres Office. We’ll call it Next Pres Office. Murdo Girl’s sleeping quarters will be in the room just down those few steps and on the right. We’re going to have to name it something. The  Kitchen will be down the stairs where the Chemistry room was. The employee lounge will be in what used to be the Library.

Now Mr. Man, we are sparing no expense. The sky is the limit!

Mr. Man: There certainly is a lot of work to be done here. I’ll draw up some preliminary plans and get some bids from subcontractors. How soon would you like to meet again to go over the final proposal?

Pico: Huh? We just want you to paint some signs to put above all the doors. Use all the same size boards for every room. If the name is too long, just leave off a few letters.

Oh, and Mr. Man? We need a sign that says Haugh Land. We’re naming the football field Haugh Land.

Haugh Land

Mr. Man: You mean you don’t need me to make any changes in the kitchen or bathrooms?

Pico: No, we’re just going to order pizza from Prairie Pizza or take everybody to Ferns or the Diner, or that new place Rustic something. The Drive In right over there has the best Rubarb shakes. Kathleen makes them. Then there is the Star and the Buffalo Bar, they have steaks. Have you been to  Mack’s Cafe?

None of us cook, so our State Dinners will  be Town Dinners at the Diners. When dignitaries from White river, Vivian or Presho come, we’ll just meet them at the restaurant. Are you feeling okay Mr. Man?

1-busted barney


Meanwhile, there is a trouble brewing at the Next V Pres headquarters above Sanderson’s Store.

Lav: I’m taking the room that faces the Street. I want to be able to look out the window and see my red convertible parked down there.

A I: Lav, you don’t have a red convertible. All of us are using the Jeep to get around. We won’t even have that if Jerry doesn’t figure out a way to pay for some gas and an oil change.


Jerry: Don’t talk like I’m not even here. I’m standing right here. I tried to make some money washing windshields at one of the gas stations, but I worked for three days and didn’t get paid. I asked the guy at Don’s Standard why he didn’t pay me and he said it was tips only. I’m just not good at asking for money. It makes me uncomfortable.


A I: Well don’t that beat all? We have a bean counter who’s afraid to ask for beans. We are just one bean away from beanrupcy. Next Pres is really going to like that. She hasn’t even been in office a whole week.

Sherri the Photographic Drawer: You don’t have to talk mean to Jerry A I. Don’t you have someone to spy on?  Lav, I’ll draw you a picture of a red convertible. Will that make you feel better?

Lav: BooHooBooHoo. Where is Treason? She promised to take me crown shopping. BooHoo!

Right in the middle of this…here comes the Defense Monitor

The Defense Monitor: I’m here for a cabinet meeting. I assume you are all here for the same reason. Can you tell me where the meeting is being held?

The Town Cryer: Gets up and yells, I know, I Know. the cabinets are right across the hall. Come on, I’ll show you.

Carol the singer: Wait for me, I’m here to sing the Murdo Matters song before the meeting.

Defense Monitor: When I was coming up the stairs just now, it sounded like you were all involved in a “ruckus.” It seems like someone was picking on you,  Jerry and Lav. I’m having a class on defense mechanisms. You two should come and learn how to defend yourselves against bullies. It’s at Mack’s Cafe. You only have to pay $5.00 and you get a free meal. If you’ve had a  traffic ticket, and need to take the Driver’s Safety course, I’ll give you both for $8.00 and throw in dessert. My motto is, “Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts.”

Give me a break. At least there aren’t any M’s in it.


I can’t wait for Murdo Girl’s Coronation


Murdo Girl…A bridge over troubled waters


Brick house

Concerned that Lav has not been heard from in a couple of days, Murdo Girl has decided to track her down. Its not like Lav to be out of touch. Out to lunch, yes, but not out of touch. The Queen hasn’t shown her crown in a couple of days either. At the moment, MG is sitting in Mack’s Cafe enjoying a Coke and a Bing.

Marlene is working today. All her customers are taken care of, so she sits down with MG to visit a few minutes.

Marlene: Not too many people come in here and order a Coke and a Bing. I used to come in after school everyday with my friends Karen, Josephine and Mary. We always had a Coke and a Bing. It brings back some good memories.

Murdo Girl: Yup..This is comfort food for sure. Say Marlene, have you seen Lav and the Queen? No one has seen them for a couple of days. It’s not a good thing for them to be on the loose for long periods of time. I know Lav has been a little upset since Mr. Geisler took the convertible away from her. I haven’t even told her that the VP Quarters is above Sanderson’s Store. She’ll like that!

Marlene: They’re probably over at Loretta’s. I think the bridge marathon is still going on over there. They’ve been playing bridge for two days straight. Can you imagine all the cream o cheese o cherry pie they’ve gone through? Not to mention the nuts and mints.

Murdo Girl: Lav without sleep is bad enough, but Lav full of cream o cheese o cherry pie can’t be good. Where does Loretta live?

Marlene: Loretta lives in a basement house by the Chalet Motel. You’ll be surprised when you see her. You look just like her.


Murdo Girl takes her last bite of cherry mash and heads for Loretta’s….She’s at Loretta’s now.  Wow, she thinks. There are a lot of cars here and there is the Queen’s carriage. Down the concrete stairs she goes. Somehow this seems all too familiar. MG knocks at the door. No one comes, so she decides to go on in. Whew! She finds her way through the smokey haze and although her eyes are burning, she see’s the living room and foursome after foursome of bridge players. Finally she spots the Queen and Lav…and the woman who must be…Loretta.

Murdo Girl: Excuse me. I hate to interrupt (cough), but I need to have a word with my NVP and the Queen. I’m your new Next Pres (cough). You must be Loretta. Is this a bomb shelter?

Loretta: You can call me Mom…Have you forgotten? I know you’re not alldumb….You call yourself Murdo Girl because you’re from Murdo. You grew up in this basement. To deny me is to deny your past. BTW, it’s probably time you learned the truth about the disappearance of all your “momentos.”

MG: Are you talking about my saxophone, yearbooks, cheerleading outfit, stereo, pom poms, and the Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow pin?

Loretta: Now that’s not fair. I did not get rid of your pom poms. You gave them to Coach Applebee’s daughter Jeri. You were her Connie like.

MG: I’m truly sorry Mom. Actually, I have always wondered why you never taught me how to play bridge.

Loretta: I did, but you didn’t smoke and you ate all the cream o cheese o cherry pie.

MG: Mom..can I have a piece of cream o cheese o cherry pie…for old times sake? I want you to know, you are always welcome at the Brick House. You won’t have to wait in line for tours or anything.

Loretta: Are you kidding? I failed Algebra in that building.

MG: When the smoke clears we will see the truth (cough). Let’s not let Algebra and momentos control us Mom. You are a successful business woman and I am Murdo Girl..Next Pres.

What a beautiful moment (Not), I had a straight flush, Queen high. 


Murdo Matters… This is our song

We must be right, cause we can’t be all wrong

Jones County.. has been here for a Cen tur y

We like our pop cold, and we don’t drink sweet tea.

We support the Coyotes, the team and newspaper

Those who oppose us, disappear into vapor.

A poet I’m not., no song writer or singer

You gotta admit this is one good humdinger!


If my computer doesn’t get fixed soon, you will see more than two M’s burning










Murdo Girl…Murdo matters

Murdo Matters is a new organization in town. It’s very new so you probably haven’t heard about it yet. In fact, I just thought of it 30 seconds ago. I’m already writing about it and I have absolutely no idea what it is, so I guess we’ll all find out about it together. Whatever it turns out to be, I hope it’s good because I really like the sound of it. Murdo Matters.


Murdo Girl is in her second week of being Next Pres. Lav is VPNPE. Then there’s the Queen who has been hanging out with us in Murdo. I think she needed a break from her extremely needy family who thinks they should be treated like Royalty. I mean give me a break, $250 for a sweater for George? That could have gone a  long way toward paying the light bill at Kensington Palace. She told us she started out as a mechanic in WWII. She knows the value of an elbe. What? Ib.. Short for it!

What’s a Queen Mother to do? (Sigh)

Murdo does things differently than the rest of the world. That’s why Next Pres has decided to drop some of the long titles, unless it’s in your name like Queen Elizabeth. Treason is going to get with The Coyote and they will be publishing a list of the cabinetry . Eliteism will not be tolerated, however, the cabinet will have a “Top Shelf.”

We will show the world that Murdo Matters, and we will live in whatever decade we choose to. We might even mix it up a little. Our story has evolved. We keep the people and things of the past that bring up good nostalgic memories. We also incorporate things and people that are in today’s world. If I’ve confused you, I’m sure you’re not surprised.

Now that Murdo Girl is officially Next Pres, we need to decide where she should live and conduct her stuff. How about the old High School? It’s got everything we need but a kitchen, and a shower. It’s close to the auditorium and even has a gym. Until we get someone to put a shower in, she can  go to the truck stop. They have nice showers there, and you can even call ahead and reserve. It’s also just a short walk from the high school I mean The Brick House. We can put a hot plate in the chemistry room. Hopefully we can get the smell of formaldehyde out of there. I think there’s a little fridge in there too. We’ll just have to make sure all the frogs are out of it and put a box of baking soda inside.


I think it’s time to have our first Murdo Matters Meeting. It will be at The Brick House. (We can’t call it the White House because it’s brownish brick.) The date will be?? What do you think. The sooner the better right? At 9:00 a.m. sharp.

Murdo Girl is already there. She spent the night on a cot in the library. It’s right across the hall from the Chemistry lab, where the coffee pot is. Already back from a brisk shower at the truck stop, she’s ready to hit the ground running.

The meeting is being held in the gym because the Superintendents Office won’t hold all the people.

The transition staff is arriving

Jerry, Treason, Carol, The town Crier, A I, and Yram  are walking up the steps. Bart, Smart, and Braveheart, the bodyguards, are stationed outside. They’re just there in the unlikely event that a crowd gathers. That doesn’t sound like a very good reason, but we’ll figure out another way they can be useful later.

Where are the Queen and Lav? We kind of need the NVP, but we can clue her in later, since we always have to tell her everything twice anyway. The C  and the CC of the CCC aren’t here, but they will be discussed at the meeting. Since we no longer need a Chair and Co-Chair of the Coyote County Convention, they will be considered for other positions.

The assembly is happening in the downstair’s gym.

Murdo Girl: THANK YOU, THank you, Thank you. Woah..This gym has an echo, guess I won’t use the mic. Thank you for coming to The Brick House, the home of the people. Yes, The town of Murdo now has it’s very own Next Pres, and when the rest of the country sees how we run things, I’m sure all the other 49  states will fall into lock step with us.

In the interest of time, I will get right to today’s order of business.

  1. We need a good lawyer. We’re going to advertise all the available positions in the Murdo Coyote so the townspeople can give us their input. In the meantime, my cousin Blake Haverberg, who has everyone in the family beat in the way of accomplishments, has agreed to help us out. He lives in Deadwood. I’d really like to have a local attorney.
  2. We need a doctor, a PA, or a nurse on our Murdo Matters team.
  3. A Press Secretary..I’m thinking Treason can fill that position
  4. A spy..A I.. It goes without saying you have the credentials
  5. A speech writer..No one comes to mind.
  6. A publicist, Yram?
  7. A PICOBHF..Person in charge of Brick House functions, like town dinners (C of the CC?)
  8. A Queen..Queen E
  9. Defense moniter..(The CC of the CCC?)
  10. Someone to write up the minutes
  11. Someone to sing the Murdo Matters song at the beginning of each meeting..Carol’s got it!
  12. Someone to write the song that the whole town will sing..?

Other positions will be announced and discussed at our next State of the Town MM meeting.

Lets not overdo it on our first day. I am on fire Murdo! We’ve got it going on!! Give me an MM!!!



Will the minutes please note that the scribe of this story was having Internet problems and was unable to perform her magic in the way of photos and other things. Sometimes a Murdo Girl’s gotta do what a Murdo Girl’s gotta do.



Murdo Girl…Come back when you can’t stay so long



I don’t remember the first time I realized not everybody loves me. Some might not even like me. It made sense to me that if I liked everyone, then they would have no reason not to like me right? It sounds simple and easy, but of course it isn’t.

Oh, there were the occassional spats all little kids have with their playmates. Those arguments over who gets a certain toy or who gets to go first. Fights with siblings don’t really count. Those power plays are a natural part of living within a family. Everyone has to carve out their own niches and establish their own boundaries.

Some people can’t handle praise. If we get 100 affirmations and one negative opinion, why is it that some of us concentrate on the one negative?

None of this applies to Yram Sicnarf.



When a crack up reporter completes an interview, the next step is to write it up for submission to the media or other powers that be. Yesterday, we witnessed Yram’s interview with Dean Lindquist and friends. This is how our crack up reporter remembers it. Were we all at the same events?


Due to my tenacity and well known journalistic skills, I, Yram Sicnarf was asked to cover the Lindquist Birthday bash and other things. The goal was to interview as many Murdoites as possible.

The event was star studded. The garage was packed full of fans. (They were all on high. It was hot.) The red carpet was a virtual parade of well wishers. Everyone wanted to know who did my hair and make-up. The questions just kept coming and coming.

Anyway, the first person I saw was Mr. Thune. He was accompanied to the party by his two sons Bob and Rich. Apparently they had read my in-depth interview with their Father Harold. I tried to tell them there were so many people I needed to visit with, I really didn’t have a lot of time for an  exclusive with them.

Bob was pretty nice, but Rich started to ask me questions about the Murdo History Quiz. He seemed surprised that I didn’t know the answers to any of it. Murdo Girl’s brother Billy and I gathered all the information and prepared the quiz, but I hadn’t paid that much attention to the answers. I did what I always do when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I referred him to my Aggressive investigator, A I. I mean what’s the use of having an entourage if you’re not going to use them? Technically, they’re Murdo Girl’s people, but she lets me use them whenever I want to.

1-A l

A I: Well Mr. Thune, what specifically are you questioning about the questions written in the form of a question on the questionnaire quiz thing?

Rich: Who are you?

A I: I’m Murdo Girl’s Aggressive Informant. She has a lot of cronies on her team. I was an aggressive basketball player on a rival team when we were in High School. Even though I knocked her and some of the other Murdo Coyote players on their spanks, she hired me to dig up dirt on people. She must really like my work, because she is trying to find a spot for me in her cabinet. She’s Next Pres you know. You want a picture with me? You probably don’t know too many cronies of successful politicians do you?

Rich: I don’t know any cronies, but I do have a brother who is a United States Senator. I’ll pass on the photo-op.

A I: Well, okay, but if you change your mind, I’ll be hanging around the Photographic Drawer.

This is Yram again. I finally made my way to Mr. Lindquist and I asked him the following pertinent questions:


I don’t remember much about that, but I’m sure I asked him questions… didn’t I? Oh well, I do remember wondering why Sherri the photographic drawer was over in the corner apparently drawing a photograph of Carol wearing a blonde wig and singing “Happy birthday Mr. Lindquist.” I did love that sequined dress.

04-Town Cryer
I’m the Town Crier. I have a crown made of cheese

when Lav and I came to, I mean woke up the next morning, the car was moving, which was okay, because I realized it’s not good for a crack up reporter to stay in one place too long. You have to circulate. The Town Crier was driving and before we knew it we were back at the Motel. Perfect! We headed right over to the lobby for a delightfully free breakfast.

Later, during the parade, I pursued some “man on the street” interviews. I was on foot, because the red convertible was in the parade. Murdo Girl and Lav got to ride in it. Lav is going to wear that car out!

The first man on the street was a girl who asked me not to use her name. Any good reporter worth their salt will always honor a request like that. I’ll refer to her as Arenkay Idersnay. When we were in High school, her last name was Erdigfay. We just made small talk for a while. When I zeroed in on the burning questions, she told me she was there to watch the parade, so I promised her I’d catch up with her later.

Erinkay and her Granddaughter Ackmay (for short) visiting with Eddie Jackson at the HT Auditorium

By then, my feet were pounding and my head was starting  to swell. When I was walking back down the courthouse hill, I saw Coach Applebee driving up the hill. I tried to get his attention, but he appeared to be avoiding making eye contact with me. It’s nothing to me, but I was just going to tell him he was about to run right smack into a parade coming his way. Hey! Now that’s a bit of breaking news don’t you think? I decided I would write it up and have Sherri draw the photograph later.


The Murdo Coyote would like to make a correction to the copy concerning the parade accident. It should be crash up, meaning the fender bender, and crack up, referring to the reporter. You know how it is with those interlopers who try to sensationalize everything. There was plenty of room for Dean’s truck to get by the Driver’s Ed car, but Miss Sicnarf yelled “LOOK OUT!!” both drivers were distracted and didn’t know whether to stop or go, and they both gunned it. The only thing injured was the two men’s pride.

knock knock..Who’s there? Orange..Orange who? Orange you glad I’m in Murdo?
The back of Dean’s truck at approximately 10:20 am…45 minutes prior to the incident
Move it along folks. There’s nothing to see here.

Murdo Girl…Just give me a sign

 I’m missing Murdo. I’ve been trying to think of someone else Yram could interview there. She’s been complaining because she thinks you all see her in a bad light because she kind of botched the interviews with Mr. Thune, Coach Applebee (twice), Mrs. Peters, and Mr. Palmer. Geez, that’s a lot of interviews to mess up. I think she should have one more chance to redeem herself, but as far as the bad light goes..take your gifts where you can get ’em Yram. Bad lights can be a good thing.


None of us knew it at the time, but Yram was actually at the all school reunion. She was in one of her disguises, but we should have known it was her when she talked, because of her nasal voice. Crack up reporters should not have a nasal voice. I’ve got to hand it to her though, she’s got hudspa.

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What’s Hudspa? I feel fine.

Who will she corner first? Looks like it’s  Dean Lindquist.

Yram: Hi Mr. Lindquist, my name is Yram Sicnarf and I’m a crack up reporter from Gun Barrel City, Texas. Mind if I ask you a few questions?

Dean: Do you mind? I was just getting ready to blow out the candles on my birthday cake.

Yram: Oh, sorry. Sure go ahead and blow them out. I think I’ll stand back a little. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many burning candles. Do you think I could have a glass of water or maybe some of that punch over there? I’m getting a little warm.

Dean: Were you invited to my party? I don’t remember the name Sicnarf. Who was your Dad? Did you ever work at Dean’s Philip 66 station? ( You would think I was talking to Lynn Brost Miles..If she doesn’t recognize you, she wants to know who your Dad is.)

Yram: Uh, well I  kind of worked there. I mean I hung out there a lot. Does that count? I must have been accidentally overlooked when the invites were mailed out. You sure had some cuties working there. Whooee! Where is that cold punch? It is really warm in here.

Dean ignores Yram while he blows out his candles and everyone sings Happy Birthday. Someone must have given her some punch, because Yram seems happy as a crack up reporter,  from Texas can look.

Yram: Excuse me Mr. Dean, you asked about my Dad. Well, Mom never told him about me. About my being a crack up reporter, I mean. It’s really a sad story if you’d like to hear it. It all happened….

Dean: (Interrupting Yram’s story.) I really hate to be rude, but there are a lot of people here to wish me a happy birthday. A bunch of my guys who worked at the station are here and I’d like to spend some time with them.

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Dean Lindquist, Kim Burns, and Eddie Jackson at Dean’s Birthday party

Yram: Shuuurre you do. I’ll just come with you. I’ll be reeeaal quiet. You won’t even know I’m there (hicup). Who are those four cute guys over there?

Dean: Their names are Don Edwards and Eddie Jackson. There are only two of them Miss. Now, I’m going to go talk to them. You can come with me if you don’t say a word.

Yram shakes her head indicating she won’t talk.

Dean walks up to the guys and they all shake hands and start reminiscing about working at the station. Don and Eddie are really fond of Dean and are sharing lots of good memories. Well, it’s just so emotional, Yram starts to sniffle…but she doesn’t say a word.


Eddie: Who is that Dean? She looks a little familiar. I remember something about seeing her in a dim light. Or maybe I just remember her dimness.


Don: HaHa…That’s funny Eddie She looks vaguely familiar to me too. Her dimness, kind of like a dim her highness..Hahaha. Where’s your crown Your Dimness?

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UhOh, I bet he lives to regret that remark!

Yram doesn’t speak because she’s a rule follower, but what’s this? She’s holding up a sign. It says, “I got gas at the station once. U2 R Cute..

Dean:  Her name is Yram Sicnarf. She says she’s a crack up reporter from Gun Barrel City, Texas. I told her not to talk. She was really getting on my nerves and her voice is so nasally.  Just don’t ask her about her Dad. It sounds like a long story.

Yram tugs on Dean’s sleeve and whispers something to him. 

Dean: She wants me to ask you boys if you’ll be at the dance later?

Eddie and Don decide to say yes, because they know she’s easy to ditch. They remember her now. She was someone they ditched once.

And it better never happen again..Oh, sorry, I just got caught up in the story


I’m Dean’s daughter Karen. I did not invite Yram, but she’s my kinda girl

Yram moves on to find another fascinating person to interview. She needs to get away from Dean so she is allowed to talk. Maybe there will be someone seated close to the punch bowl.

Yram: Hi there..Have we met? My name is Yram Sicnarf and I’m a crack up, cracker jack reporter from Rifle Butt, TX..or is it Sling Shot? Let’s just say I live in a dangerous place.

Lady by the punch: I’ve been a risk taker all of my life. I’ve been known to slide down cellar doors. I got 20 slivers once. I put them in my scrap book.  FYI..that punch is packing a punch. Maybe you should have a cold beer instead.

Yram: Oh, no thank you, I don’t drink. Do they have food here? You know what I’m hungry for? Wedding cake… I usually have wedding cake when I have punch. Now why are we here?

Later that evening Dean is talking to his daughters, Karen, Kim and Tammy. After enjoying a wonderful evening of food and friendship, the guests have all departed.

Dean: Did you see that girl who was here earlier. Yram Sicnarf was her name. She was kind of strange. I didn’t see her leave.

Karen: She didn’t leave.

Dean: What?

Kim: She and some girl named Lav are out front. You know that convertible that Dave Geisler let us borrow for Murdo Girl to ride in the parade tomorrow? They are both sitting in it. They won’t leave. They both have crowns on.

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It’s okay, Tammy has the keys

Tammy is cleaning up as she listens to Dean and her sisters talking. Wow! That punch sure got drained. I filled it up three times. She sniffs the air…What is burning she wonders.

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Yram: Hey Lav..Don’t ya just love Murdo? Where else can you go and be treated like such royalty? I wish I had another piece of that wedding cake…and a little more punch.

Lav: Can I stay in this car all night Yram? I love this car. I like you to Yram. Even if you live in crack up, Texas.


Both Yram and Lav sit back and enjoy the beautiful night…and watch the M burn.



E couldn’t come. She has crownitis. Do you think our outfits are too casual?

Murdo Girl…Just another webisode

1-RV campground

Murdo is all a buzz. The town darling, Murdo Girl, is officially Next Pres, and Lav is NVP, (Next Vice Pres). You must be asking yourself, “Now what?!” Apparently, you are not the only one.

Yram Sicnarf, fresh from her trip to “Back to the Future,” is at the Campground Compound speaking with Murdo Girl.

Yram: So Murdo Girl, now that you are officially Next Pres, are you planning to take some time off for a little staycation?

MG: What? I can’t do a State of the Nation Speech yet! Is this off the record Yram, or are you here in your crack up interviewer capacity?

Yram: Actually, (full disclosure), people are live streaming right now.

MG: Really? Are they catching anything?

Yram: As a crack up investigative reporter, I do a lot of social networking. The signal is always pretty strong here.

MG: Well, if they’re having to use a net, I’m glad it’s working. That means the big ones are getting hooked. By strong signal, are you referring to the noon whistle?

Yram: More like addicted Murdo Girl. Almost everyone has 3 or 4 devices. Someone needs to blow the whistle on all of the nefarious activity going on.

MG: It isn’t noon yet. The whistle doesn’t blow til noon. We all have vices Yram. It doesn’t mean everyone is having an affair. What do you mean us? Do you know something I don’t ?

Yram and Murdo Girl both look a little confused, but not nearly as confused as the person with the cockeyed crown coming toward them.

1-Your Highness Valerie

Lav: I just had the weirdest dream. I was a volleyball player in the Olympics and I couldn’t get the ball over the net. I felt like such a loser. I guess it’s cause we lost.

MG: We didn’t lose Lav.  I’m sorry you had such a bad dream, are you okay now?

Lav: Yup..In my dream, I talked to the sports psychologist. She told me to go home and take a Zumba class. I heard SCS (Sioux City Sue), is facilitating a” Zumba to the Oldies” class at the Harold Thune Auditorium. Or is it “Zumba for the Oldies?” Either way off I go..bye. Oh wait! I forgot my iPod so I can listen to my fav earworm.

You Go SCS..Lav is behind ya. She looks different w/o her crown!

MG: Ya know Yram, I think it’s time I called a meeting. I want to inform the team of their new cabinet positions. People need direction. Maybe with some direction, there won’t be so much confusion going on here.

Yram: Good idea MG. Like the Queen always says, around here confusion reigns. She does like that Bling though.

MG: Bling? Who is Bling? Is he trying to be nefarious with the Queen?


Later that evening, most of NP Murdo Girl’s entourage is finally back at the Campground Compound. They’re all full from eating beans and franks, and a few leftover hard boiled chickens that Jerry couldn’t sell.


Murdo Girl decides to take her book and a flashlight and read by the campfire. A I, and the Town Crier are sitting there listening to Carol sing.

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A I: What are you reading Murdo Girl?

MG: The dictionary. No matter how many times I read it, that crack up reporter Yram comes up with a word I don’t know. Do you think the encyclopedia would be more up to date?

A I: Is Yram threatening to unfriend you MG? She thinks she’s so smart with all her “mental floss.”


And so ends another day at the Murdo Girl Campground Compound. Soon, NP Murdo Girl will be announcing her cabinet. Will “Other Murdoites” join the team? It should be interesting, but it might not be. Let’s hope it is.

Just remember….If you snooze you lose.






Murdo Girl…Constance Francis Bowers

I have written in great detail about the Sanderson side of my family, so I thought I would tell you a little more about the Francis family. My Dad, Bill Francis, was the only son to come back to Murdo after the war. It seems that during WWII, most of the family, with the exception of my Uncle Chuck Francis, settled in California. Chuck lived with his family in New York.

I have written a poem of sorts about my Grandma Connie, (as I heard her called), but first I would like to tell you a cute story my Dad told me about his Mother.


Dad (little Bill), had 2 brothers. John was was older, and Charles (Chuck), a little over 5 years younger. One day Grandma Connie was getting frustrated with Chuck, who was probably 2 at the time. little Bill heard her say, “I would sell this baby for 5 cents right now!” Hearing this, little Bill went to his piggy bank and took out a nickel. He presented his payment to his Mother and said he was buying baby Chuck. Grandma took his payment, and they shook hands on the deal. Together they packed up all of Chuck’s things and moved him to little Bill’s room.

Hardly any time had gone by when here came little Bill with the baby and all his things. He said he had changed his mind and wanted his nickel back. Grandma gave him his nickel and advised him to be very careful of a deal that sounds “too good to be true.”

In all the photos except when she was very young, Grandma Connie looks like a Grandma.  I don’t mean that she looked old, but you have to admit we Grandmothers now don’t wear house dresses and sturdy black shoes. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and quite the feminist for those days. She even had the word “obey” taken out of the vows of her first marriage. She changed her name from Content to Constance as noted below each of the photos.

I was named after both Grandmothers. Mary after Mary Sanderson, and Constance after Grandma Connie. (Mom called me Mary Content if she was super upset with me.)

Constance Francis Bowers with her Grandson, Billy Francis.

Constance Francis Bowers

She lived before me, her years were few, this woman that I never knew.

I didn’t know her, but knew of her, Constance was my Father’s Mother.

I’ve seen her pictures from way back then, and letters that she sometimes penned.

Her husband died and went to heaven. My Father William was only seven.

Son Charles was 2, John only 10. These boys were hers alone to tend.

She owned a hardware store in Murdo, and tried her best to make it go.

No time to grieve, she worked long hours. Then Constance Francis wed William Bowers.

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Bill Bowers was 55 and Connie was 38 when they married.

William had lost his children’s Mother, and until Connie, had loved no other.

By all accounts they got along. There’s was a union described as strong.

Dad Bowers and Connie, six kids in tow, lived fifteen years above the Depot

The Murdo Depot

Life was good, but there were fears, for these were the depression years.

The small rooms above the railroad station, had no plumbing for the duration.

The heat was from two old coal stoves. They carried water to wash their clothes.

The years went by, the children grew, then they were faced with World War II.

Most of the six stayed way out West, after the war, they thought it best.

Charles the youngest, Connie’s pride, got a furlough when Dad Bowers died.

It was 1943, it seemed California was the place to be.

In 46, after the war, Connie sold Francis hardware store.

To California she made her way, where son Charles attended UCLA

She made a home for Charles and his friends, but far too soon her story ends

She made plans to visit Murdo, but got too sick and couldn’t go.

1948 was the year she died. Her son Charles was by her side.

She was only 59. I am her family and she was mine.



Bill Francis, an Army Engineer, later chose a plumbing career.

He married Loretta  and settled down, they raised two children in their hometown.

John chose teaching as his career path; moved to Pasadena, and taught High School Math.

Bob, Bev , and Margarete, were the nicest people you could ever meet.

In California, they built their lives; Margarete with her husband, Bob and Bev with their wives.

Barbara and Charles, the youngest of all, lived in New York and raised Abby and Paul.


All of us are God’s creations, and our families span the generations.

Remember family… where it all starts, and they’ll live forever in your hearts

The Francis family in New York for Uncle Chucks funeral…The part of the Depot at the Pioneer Auto Museum.


Beautiful family Queen Elizabeth







Murdo Girl…The rubber meets the road

Happy birthday Kipper..with son-in-law-Scott and Seamus

Yesterday was Kip’s birthday. I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, and he suggested Denny’s. I was beyond exhausted, was his birthday. I had a tasty sirloin steak, red potatoes, Caesar salad, grilled squash, and a dinner roll. Kip had 2 pancakes and 2 eggs. The pancakes were huge and he couldn’t finish them, so instead of desert, I ate the last few bites.

She always eats her food, then tries to get everybody elses

I think my huge appetite is directly related to all the driving I’ve had to do. Kip’s back surgery was 7 weeks ago and I’ve had to drive him everywhere. We went to Athens to renew his driver’s license and to Dallas twice this week. I drove him to Dallas yesterday for his check-up with the surgeon.

The drive wasn’t as bad as some have been. I only had to yell at him twice. Once was when I was trying to pull out and cross 2 lanes of traffic. He said, ” You can go…right after this next car goes by.” Too late! Hang on to your back brace!  Thankfully, the other car had good brakes!” Try saying that in a different way,” I asked. “Like this. After this next car goes by, then.. you can go.

The other day, Kip sort of raised his voice at me. He said, “Look-out!” What does that mean to you? Does it mean to stop…or go? I did both. My car also has good brakes.

The Doctor finally lifted the “no driving” ban yesterday, but we had my car, so I went ahead and drove home anyway. I told Kip it would probably be a good idea for him to gradually get used to driving again. He said, “So what should  I do?  Go sit in the car for a while on the first day? Then the next day, maybe I can  back out to the end of the driveway.” That was the second time I yelled at him.

“I do believe in sharing the road with other drivers Philip..They can have the part behind me”

When we got home, Kip went into the house, got the keys to his pick-up truck, and drove it to the car wash. His truck has been sitting in the garage for 7 weeks. My car is filthy. Technically that would have been the 3rd time I yelled at him, but it doesn’t count. He was backing out of the driveway and couldn’t hear me.

Apparently Kip doesn’t remember our discussion from a few years ago. I said to him, “Have you ever noticed when couples get older, the little old woman drives the little old man around?” He nodded his head in agreement. “If you’re not nice to me,” I said. “You are not going  anywhere!”


I might sound mean, but I’m not. I have a gift that not many people possess. I can yell without raising my voice.  I’ve found the louder my voice, the less people hear me. The downside is, sometimes I have to say things more than once.



We took Driver’s Education together. We can drive a stick shift.


I taught them in Driver’s Ed..They purposely turned the corners really fast. I should have worn a seatbelt. That’s the real reason I can’t stand up. They should have named a road after me too. ” Applebee Drive.” I like that!


Murdo Girl…I was just wondering..

I’m the Queen and I think I might be living in a parallel universe

How upset do you think everyone would be if something totally unforeseen happened regarding the election? I’m not saying anything will happen, but it could you know. I read the Murdo Coyote’s take on the whole mess of an election, and it got me to thinking. After things calm down a bit, I’m not saying right this minute or anything, but later, maybe tomorrow, folks might put it all together and start talking. You know what happens when folks start talking.




Let’s start at the Jones County Jailhouse. Barney, Otis and..( I look around and see there is no and.) Guess what Deputy Barney Fife is doing?  He’s pacing..stopping only to sniff or pull up on his pants. Well, mostly sniffing. He only tugs on his pants when he’s all impressed with himself..

Barney: I was there, and I still don’t know what happened. I got 299 delegate/votes/whatever…I needed 300 to tie with the likes of Murdo Girl. Now what does that tell you?

Otis: It tells me you lost Barney.

Barney: Otis…That is not what I’m gettin at..One delegate/voter/whatever didn’t delegate/vote/whatever!

It has been a long day with the foreclosure sale and all the other Courthouse steps stuff going on and Otis is kind of brain dead. I mean his brains are fried. 

The jailhouse door opens, and in walks some of Murdo Girl’s peeps. Yes, none other than A I (MG’s Aggressive Informant), and Sherri (MG’s Photographic Drawer.) A I speaks first.

A I: Say Baaaaarney, Sherri and I decided we’d come over and see what’s going on at the Lone Wolf Campaign Headquarters. The Courthouse Presser broke up kind of early, so we just wanted to come on over here and see how you’re all doin after getting the bad news about you being a loser. Uh, we thought Sheriff Duke might be here.

Barney: I haven’t seen Sheriff Duke since he handed my 299 votes to Miss Brookes. Barney gets all bugged-eyed like he does. I don’t think you came all the way over here to exchange pleasantries. Do you wanna know what I think Miss A I?  I think  you spell trouble. I like your hat, but I don’t like the way you look at me.

A I: How can you tell I’m even looking at you? I don’t ever take my dark shades off. Isn’t that right Sherri?

Sherri: I just draw what I’m told to photograph. I don’t worry about eyes and colors an stuff. Am I supposed to draw something here A I? Last time I drew over here, I wasn’t exactly sure what those Good Time Girls were supposed to look like.

Barney and the Good Time Girls..or is it?

A I: WhatOh..

Barney: WhatOhWhat? When were you over here photographic drawing? I think I know what’s going on here..Do you think I don’t know what’s going on here? Well, I do! You two better explain yourselves or old Deputy Fife might just have to do some interrigatin. I’d like to know how you got your hands on a picture of some guy that looks like me standing with the Good Time Girls. I would remember that occasion don’t you think? I don’t remember nothing like it.


I haven’t had this much fun since the hogs ate my little sister

A I: Don’t talk anymore Sherri. You’re not paid to talk. You’re paid to draw.

Sherri: I don’t get paid A I, unless you count potato chips and pencils. That Jerry is a sorry bean counter if you ask me. He told me he doesn’t know beans about making beans, he’s just supposed to count beans.

Call me lazy, but I hope Murdo Girl keeps the win or we’ll have to repaint all that stuff she put her name on.

Otis: You’re all wearing me out. I’m going into my cell to take a nap.

Barney: Hold it right there Otis. You were here the other day when Miss Sherri was here. I want you to tell me everything you saw, and don’t leave nothin out.

Otis: Well, I saw some people comin in and out?

Barney: What people?

Otis: Well, first one and then another.

A I: Now Otis, you didn’t see a thing. You were too busy looking out the window at the zoo animals weren’t ya?

Sometimes, when Otis stays over he sees Barney’s dog named Wolf and thinks he’s at the zoo. It has something to do with the bars on the window.

Barney: Say no more Otis. I’ll get to the bottom of this. As long as I’ve been the long arm of the law around here, I have never betrayed the public trust. I cannot let a crime go unsolved. I’m Barney the copper and big crime stopper.

(Now Barney is tugging on his pants because he thinks he’s all that!)

A I: I got nothing to say.

So, we have four people here and none of them are talking. Let’s go on over to The Coyote Campground Compound. I don’t know why, but let’s just do it.

I’m tired of Glamping, but a Queens’s gotta do what a Queen’s gotta do.

Looks like we did the right thing. Murdo Girl is speaking to a small group of supporters. Actually, when you’re in a small town like Murdo, sometimes the supporters and the reporters are one in the same. Even though there’s only one person there, you could actually think of it as two. Anyway, Treason is there. She has looked at her watch 4 times in 5 minutes. Now she’s shaking it to see if it’s still running. Guess Murdo Girl’s comments are running a little over. 

Did Someone say its over? Please!

Murdo Girl: and in closing, I would just like to say, I’m down with the people. I’ve got fire in the belly. Read my lips. No new taxes. Ask not what Murdo can do for you. Ask what you can do for Murdo, and all that other original stuff. Now I’ve got to go find out what I’m supposed to do next. Will someone wake Lav up and brief her? She’s got to be ready to take over should anything happen to me.

I have a Dream


The way I look at it… Barney just might be the victim of some dirty politics. On the other hand, the election is over so, too bad, so sad. There is one other little hanging chad…Who didn’t cast their vote? Should Barney demand a recount? Where did Sheriff Duke run off to?

I guess a Next Pres has gotta do, what a Next Pres has gotta do. Whatever that is.. 

Do you think this crown makes me look fat?