Seán Malone and John Sweetman

Literary, September 2023

The Supreme Court of Mom

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman As John remembers: “He hit me!”   “She was making faces at me!”  “I was not!”  “He was making fart noises with his armpit!”   And so convened the daily district court of summary justice where the prosecutor, defense council, and detective agency was all in one. MOM! Mom interrupted her…

August 2023, Literary

If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good For You

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman As kids, we attended schools that were a quagmire of communicable diseases, where various ailments were freely communicated, just like today.    Pink eye … ringworm … head lice … measles, and so on, including various rashes, itches, and the common issues of sniveling, coughs, and sometimes more serious issues of croup…

Good Boys Gone Bad
Island Voices

Good Boys Gone Bad

By Seán Malone and John Sweetman We never actually set out to do wrong, but occasionally small, impulsive actions led to doing the wrong thing, and for small lads this outcome was as natural as paint on a fence. Gene Amondson and I were wandering around a construction site, and as young boys do, we picked…

Useless Skills and Dumb Ideas, Part II – Pants on Fire
Literary

Useless Skills and Dumb Ideas, Part II – Pants on Fire

Gene Amundson and I came up with the first rendition of “concealed carry” long before the National Rifle Association had it as a policy. We found we could make a “zip” gun out of a clothespin, using just a pocket  knife and something to bend the spring. We used these at first to shoot spitwads at…

Useless Skills and Dumb Ideas
Island Voices

Useless Skills and Dumb Ideas

Seán and I were sitting out on his deck a few years back, looking out at our crab traps set in our secret spot, the Trench, just offshore. We noticed a boat approaching and suspected it was a “crab pot poacher.” Waving the boat off seemed to get no answer, so Seán, after a false…

The $25 Car
Island Voices

The $25 Car

This story began on Seán’s fireplace mantel. There is an old Plymouth master brake cylinder filled with either a mouse nest or some of Seán’s cigar ashes. Some years back, after Seán returned to Vashon, he told me that his first car had been sold to an Island friend, and that somehow it had come…

Early Wage Slaves – Part Two
Island Voices

Early Wage Slaves – Part Two

Last month’s issue of The Loop described Sean’s early experiences at earning money as a youngster by rubbing finish onto Skippercraft boats. Even though Sean is a few years older than I, our early experiences had a certain parallel. We had some good laughs together as we compared our young entry into the world of…

Early Wage Slaves – Part One
Island Voices

Early Wage Slaves – Part One

I hired a crew to reroof the cabin. After 60 years, the leaks and weight of the moss had compromised the roof.  There are just some things that have to be done, whether you need to or not.   John and I were watching the workmen, and were grateful we were not up on the…

Snowballs and Snowboards
Island Voices

Snowballs and Snowboards

It’s just not nice to be hit with a snowball with a rock in it. At Cove, we forbade the use of rocks. They took the fun out of a good snowball fight. We hid behind the walls of our forts, a wall of giant snowballs that could be four or five feet high. Behind the wall, we…

Squeaking Silver
Island Voices

Squeaking Silver

I was down on the floor on my hands and knees when John Sweetman walked in the door. “What are you doing,” he asked? “I have lost a gold crown while biting into a Winter apple,” I replied. John got right down on the floor to help me look. My little Jack Russell Terrier was hunting the floor with…

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