Bobbie's Beat: Blowback, feedback or whatever


“The best thing about being over 40 is that we did all our stupid stuff before the invention of the internet … so there is no proof.” (Author unknown)

There is probably a difference between the words blowback and feedback. Either way, it boils down to considerable reader response after last week’s column, especially that list of 20 questions.

My purpose was to honor my husband’s contributions to this community and the fact he left us just seven years ago. (The weekend was tough, but I’m tougher). The list was a handy way to make the subject fun versus depressing.

Enter Robin Scharf, my beloved stepdaughter who lives in New York with her veterinarian husband, Ron. I met Robin while dating her father, and we have been extremely close all these years. Robin spent many of her teenage summers with us in our California home. She texted me after reading last week’s column because of details she did not know and how many things on that list she has never done but “plans to catch up.” 

She was surprised that I had tried computer dating — which I did, but it was before meeting her father. Somewhere in the News-Times archives is the story of that crazy experience. Robin was semi-shocked to learn I had ridden a mechanical bull and tasted rattlesnake. I guess some of the stuff you do when you are young and frisky doesn’t come up in normal conversations.  

What I want Robin to know now is that her dad wrestled a calf to the ground at that same Dallas, Texas hoedown — a convention for television-movie people. For three days we all wore cowboy duds and could participate in activities or just watch. I’ve never been one to stand around and watch. Burt weighed 265 at the time, and when they asked for a volunteer in the rodeo ring, I shoved him through the gate, insisting “You can do this!”  

There were a few real cowboys standing by, just in case, but my gorgeous guy pinned that stubborn animal down in 8 seconds to tumultuous applause (mostly from me). I’m pretty sure he had a scotch first to bolster his courage. Too bad it wasn’t caught on video. Neither is there any proof of my flying off that mechanical bull. (There was padding on the ground, so no big deal.)

Every Monday when I start this column, I often don’t know where it is headed, but my intention, always, is to keep it interesting, informative, funny or inspiring. Since I refuse to pepper you with “ain’t it awful” words about our troubled world, I like to give you positive tidbits you may not have spotted on your news channels. For instance, the national practice called “Teddy Bear Treasure Hunt.” Hooray for whoever came up with the idea of putting teddy bears in windows, porches, trees, parked cars. Parents take their children for walks around their neighborhoods so the kids can excitedly compete to see who can spot the most teddy bears. 

I know many grandparents whose hearts are aching for a child’s familiar hug. Bingo! I watched footage of adults dressed head to toe in inflatable Halloween costumes. Seeing children race to hug grandpa in a dinosaur suit about did me in. This proves we can either complain or get creative while staying safe at the same time. 

When my hair made me look like a character in “The Shaggy Dog Story,” I contacted Karlia Bertness of Newport who has been cutting my hair for years. I asked if she would be willing to do a “driveway cut and run.” Karlia arrived in a mask with her magical scissors and a sterile cape. I was ready with a kitchen stool and clean, wet hair so she could do her thing. I passed this bright idea on to Newport friends, who are now getting driveway haircuts from Karlia. 

The only mention I’m making about the current state of worldly affairs is this: “Aliens probably ride past earth and lock their windows.” (Author unknown)

Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]

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