Pataphysical Time Travel

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Pataphysical Time Travel
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The good doctors at Pataphysical Studios gathered at Dr. Rindbrain and Dr. Judy’s home on a rainy Saturday to contemplate the passage of time and make art about it.

We celebrated Dr. Skidz’ 70th birthday in style, with small gifts ranging from an illuminated tie to an antique telephone, hearty spirits, a nice chocolate cake and stock in the Mind Shaft Society.

We then discussed our first sketches and models for the Time Machine — and sketched out more ideas about our next pataphysical invention.

We enjoyed this opportunity to cheer our old friend and design our upcoming time travel experience together.

Fire in the hole!

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George Zebrun
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Image by Judd McCullum
I gave him my buck because he and the nine guys he was hunting with didn’t see a single deer, and he wanted a doe if I saw one. I could write volumes about this man and someday I’ll have to. One of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. He has a broken ankle but you wouldn’t know it to watch him move about. I had to fight him off the buck so he wouldn’t put down too much weight and really hurt something. He admitted himself that if he were to stop moving that’d be it.
2/16/09: I visited George last Friday, and he informed me that his birthday had been at the end of January. I wished him a happy birthday as he made his way to a closet to retrieve the gift his sons had bought him. I’d had some idea of what it might be, having seen the bag of old 30-06 shells and a couple of loaded stripper clips. He produced a huge velvet gun case that ,being as big as it was, could only hold one thing. I untied the strings near the top and reached in, pulling out a new production M1 Garand rifle. "Nine pounds… nine and a half… Too heavy for an old man, but I’ll shoot a coyote with it. I carried one when I was in the marines and could take it apart and put it back together in a minute with a blindfold on. I had to." he told me. He also told me how he landed on Okinawa on the second day, and that he and his buddies babysat a radar installation of some kind. "We got up early, me and my buddy. We’d get up on a little shelf above the beach so we could see over the coral, and before the sunrise got too bright you could pick out two big manta rays. Not the ones that killed that Australian fella’, the big ones. Twenty feet across. They’d come in every day as the tide came in. Got up early just to see ’em."
He showed me pictures of him while they trained in California, and explained how the doctor told him to keep his foot up for twenty minutes at a time, six times a day. "I can’t do that. If you weren’t here and weren’t sitting down talking I’d have paced back and forth through these rooms nine or ten times already. Gotta’ keep movin’."

Update 5/15/2010:
George passed away. He had a stroke that prevented him from walking and just as he’d told me not too long before if he stopped moving around that would be it. He knew it, and he was right. George has joined his old hunting buddies in that big stand of timber in the sky. George never asked for much of anything, and he was always willing to take just about anyone hunting or fishing. I’m so privileged to have been one of those people, and I’ll never forget George or the things he taught me and places he showed me.

Turkey Hunting with Ol’ Zebrun:
George took me turkey hunting a number of times. One really memorable hunt took place on a piece of property owned by a lady named Alfono. Her house sat up at the very top of the hill with a cornfield at the base. It made a sort of a half horseshoe. Beyond the cornfield, there was a narrow strip of timber cut off from the big woods by a good-sized creek. We got out of his old Cavalier early in the morning. George slammed his car door as hard as he could to get a shock gobble out of any tom that happened to be nearby. Nothing. George peeked over the roof of the car and even in the dark, I could see the glint in his eye. He took the fresh cigar out of his mouth, took a deep breath, and let out what I could only describe as the best parts of a crow and a barred owl call with a big hacking cough at the very end. He regained his composure just in time to hear the response come from down the creek a little way. He grabbed his armload of blind material, a couple of stakes, and his beloved good luck decoy Henrietta and off we went. After the blind was all set at the corner of the cornfield and Henrietta was out in the field doing her best turkey-Maralyn Monroe impersonation, we sat settled in against the knobbiest little excuse for a tree you’ve ever seen. We sat there all morning calling and waiting. It got to be about 8:30 when I heard a turkey flap across a gap in the creek behind us. I turned around and caught a glimpse of a little brown head. I whispered to George what I had seen, and gave me that smile and nod I knew so well. I hadn’t said it loud enough. A few minuted later he spotted her and, in a manner he reserved from polite company, growled "Je-sus Cha-rist, there’s a hen right here. Snuck up on us!" Naturally, he thought he’d been pretty clandestine about our exchange, but after the customary ‘Put’ she was a goner. He decided it was time to call it a day, cursing the cold wet conditions that had plagued hunters in the area so far that spring. He began packing up the blind and his calls and told me to walk the long way around the edge of the field to see if I could see any tracks. I made my way around just slow enough that I wouldn’t beat him back to the car. If I did I’d get an earful about not being thorough enough, or not enjoying being outside enough. Once back, we drove into town and ate breakfast at Hardee’s and planned the next day’s hunt. Even though we didn’t see much he never stopped grinning around that little cigar nub.

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