Archive for: August 2017

Living, in Coma

The following is one in a series of intermittent excerpts from Coma residents’ blogs published by Coma News as a community service


By Sadie Cracker

My oldest son Joe runs fast up the rain-slick mountain path to catch up with his little brother who spotted a rainbow and ran toward the possibility of catching it and out of my eyesight.

Joe stops by an Oak tree to catch his breath and he says, “I can’t go on.” and he’s 14 and he can.

“Don’t stop. You can catch up to him.” I said.
Joe takes off running. His legs strong now. More like a man’s legs than boy legs and I watch him run until I can’t see him anymore where the hike-path bends.

This is hike was a bad idea because I’m old now and this mountain path is reminding me I need to work out more but the boys, they need to run, and I need to keep up.

One of my girlfriends gave me Sheryl Sandberg’s book, ‘Lean In’ as a Christmas gift.  This book says I can have it all—motherhood, amazing career, amazing internal life—but right now all I can do is lean forward to push up this hill when my thighs are killing me.

“Mom you gotta see this,” Joe said.  And he yelled and then laughed.

I round the corner to see them together. Joe stands looking down at his little brother Ben who is covered in mud.

My legs are on fire from leaning forward and there’s my little guy, Ben, his mouth covered in dirt.
“What happened?” I said.
And Joe laughed so hard he can barely breathe. “Ben ate dirt.”

It’s karaoke/ poker night at Bear’s Biker Bar where the losers have to sing Madonna’s “Justify My Love”.

There are only two poker players tonight, my dad, Stan and Bear. The poker game will end soon because my Dad can’t remember how many cards he needs to win. I am sitting at the bar and trying to get through Sheryl Sandberg’s book. It’s been on my nightstand for months beside all the other books written by people who have money, time, hired help, and some sort of success and they want to share with me. Sheryl, Oprah, Kardashian fashion—all stacked on top of Virginia Woolf — on my nightstand.

There’s a lot of information out there about how we as women can be better at being ourselves written by people who don’t know us or live our lives.

“I can’t go on.” Dad says and he throws his poker cards on the table.
“But you were winning, for real.” said Bear.
“Doesn’t matter.” Dad said. “I’m tired of playing this game it’s always the same thing. Some cards. Some winning.”
“When you don’t give up, you win sometimes.” Bear said and he goes behind the bar and turns on the news.

“There are no good presidential candidates. The world is ending…” The newscaster on the radio says in a matter-of-fact voice. Bear turns the radio OFF and he winks at me.

I look down at the book jacket cover of Sheryl Sandberg. She’s staring up at me but her hair looks great.
“Sadie is a winner. She went to a great college. She’s gonna be a famous singer.” Dad says.
Dad has Alzheimer’s and he doesn’t remember everything that got us to this moment where I’m not a famous singer and staring down at Sheryl Sandberg’s hair that looks slightly unnatural. He thinks I’m a 12 year-old-dreamer tonight but I’m happy he knows who I am.

“You can’t eat dirt. Why did you eat dirt?” I said.  And why did I take this walk? I can’t feel my legs.
“I wanted to know how it tasted.” Ben said.
“What did you figure out?” I said.
“It doesn’t taste like anything.” he said. “I’m tired. Can we go home?”
And I look at the trail-mile marker and it is one more mile to the top of this hill where we can see everything.
“Let’s keep going.” I said.
“I can’t go on.” said Joe.
“I can’t go on.” said Ben.
I can’t feel my legs. “Let’s keep going.”

“My Sadie, she’s no quitter. She’s so strong. She’s gonna be a famous musician.” Dad says. “Better than Madonna!”
And I look down at Sheryl and her perfect hair that doesn’t “Lean In”.

“Bear.” I said and he looks up from where he’s wiping a spill up on the bar. I point to the book “Can you throw this out?”
He nods picks up the book and it makes a “swoosh” sound as it hits the trash bag inside the can. I turn around on the creaky barstool and face the stage. Don Reynolds is at the Karaoke machine singing “Like a Virgin” and he stops mid-touched-for-the-very-first-time- sentence to wave at me.

“She’s better than you, Madonna.” Dad said and points at Don.
There was a moment in New York City 15 years ago, where I stood in front of a bar and it was open Mic night, and I’d just gotten a call from Michael who was back in Coma. I was standing in front of the bar with my acoustic guitar and ready to play because tonight maybe a record label would be there. But on the phone so far away Michael said, “I miss you.” and he was just some mechanic in Coma. Just a guy I’d known forever but I knew I had to turn around. I knew I had to go see him. And now he’s gone and I’m raising two boys alone and I wouldn’t give up that moment.

I wouldn’t do that moment any differently.

I didn’t lean in that night.

I stood.

I walked away.

moonriver audry
Charlie, the Coma Librarian walks in the bar, and nods at me. Tonight he’s in a leather jacket but tomorrow he’ll read Shel Silverstein to kids at the library. He walks up to the stage and Don stop singing Madonna which is something to be grateful for. He starts setting up and I think about standing up.
All of the candidates may be bad, the world may end, and we will have disappointment. We aren’t Sheryl Sandberg leaning in and leaning on a nanny and a housekeeper.

But we all end up the somewhere with our choices which are the only things we can own in this world.

Charlie clears his throat and Dad starts clapping, “Sadie is famous tonight…”
I stand but as I try my skirt gets caught on the bar stool and a falter, fall a little and a drunk guy at the end of the bar starts to clap and laughs a little. I smile and stand up.
Charlie winks at me and he pulls out a banjo. He strums a couple chords and suddenly it’s ‘Moon River’ in here and I think, “I can’t feel my legs.” – after sitting for so long on that stool. I keep moving and pick up a banjo and Bear sings about a couple of drifters go off into the world together and I pick up the banjo and play the chorus…
Moon River…
And we go on.

Supporters Crushed by Grape Hut Closure

grape hut exterior

By Coma News Staff

A Campaign to prevent closure of the Grape Hut was stomped out this week after the owner announced the restaurant’s closure.

Grape Hut, Coma’s only drive-thru fast food grape restaurant, will close its doors for good at the end of the month, said Micah Horncraft, the restaurant’s owner.

Horncraft cited dwindling sales, a sluggish economy and “grape fatigue,” as the likely causes behind the failure of the business, which opened opened seven months ago.

“It says a lot about our current economic situation when a restaurant specializing in grapes can’t stay in busines of the s for even a year,” Horncraft said.

Leaders of a campaign to keep the grape purveyor operational included Jax Owen, owner of Big O Moonshine & Wine, who bought the unsold daily surplus from the restaurant to create his award-winning local wine.

“This is probably it for Hot Rod Merlot,” Owen said. “You can’t steal grapes this cheap.”

grape hut drive thru

Above: Grape Hut business thrived early on with nearly seven customers per day. Sales have since declined sharply

Another supporter of the fruit purveyor, Chase Donovan , said the restaurant’s loss will leave a void that is hard to fill.

“Ever since Eggs-To-Go burned down last year, the grape store has been our fall back car-pelting ammunition store,” said Donovan, a Coma News Daily intern. “You haven’t seen pissed off until you nail a dude in a convertable with a fistful of grapes.”

Horncraft said the business will close its doors for good next Sunday.  While disappointed, Horncraft said he’s already thinking about his next business venture.

“I love buffet-style restaurants but I never have time to go to one,” he said.  “I want to make the world’s first drive-thru all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant.”



Local Man-Boy Offers Basement Survival Skills Training

Chase Donovan has always been a survivor. And now he hopes to help others in our community survive the dangers of their parent’s basements.
“If I can keep just one young adult from endangering their lives while trying to survive the unforgiving environment of a basement, this will all be worth it,” Donovan said.
A lifelong resident of Coma, 20-year-old Donovan recently launched his expert guide service Alone in the Basement based on the popular survival series Alone.
Living in a parents basement is not a new phenomenon but harnessing the power of that life without the irritating preoccupations of having to care for yourself is the future.

Living in a parents basement is not a new phenomenon but harnessing the power of that life without the irritating preoccupations of having to care for yourself is the future.

“Its just you down there–unless you train your parents to bring you down snack–so you’ve got to know how to deal with some of the challenges that will arise,” Donovan said.
Common basement survival challenges include burned light bulbs, a bug, and batteries in remotes and game controllers running out. Basement survivalists also need to ensure they don’t run short of critical supplies, like Totinos bites, slippers, and toilet paper.
His inspiration and survival philosophy are based on the expert insights of famed explorer and survivalist Christopher McCandless, who died of starvation in the Alaskan wilderness at 24.
Donovan’s father said he’s also available by text or Snapchat 24 hours a day to provide help on any issues Donovan can’t address for clients, such as the likely locations of light switches.
Marybell Davis, Donovan’s first client, already credited his expert instruction with “saving my life.”
“I couldn’t find my new $300 iPhone ear buds anywhere,” Davis said. “And Shane was like ‘Have you tried looking under the wraparound leather sofa in the sitting area of your basement experience?’ OMG, life saver.”
Donovan hopes to eventually expand his experr survival guidance to young adults living in their parents’ finished garages, guest rooms and pool houses.
“Like I always tell my client, each environment carries it’s own unique risks so adapt to it survive there, don’t expect it will always adapt to you,” Donovan said.