Recently Read Books

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  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Bud Cave

In a number of essays written on this blog I have referred to the Bud Cave. It is more than a home office, it is place like no other. It has good natural light, comfortable furniture, and computers and printers. It has favorite paintings and photos on the walls. When the Lovely Sharon is out of town, it is my place of comfort, my place for emotional warmth, my domain. Sharon and I have discussions about the Bud Cave and we have differences of opinion as to how the Bud Cave should look and what may be in the Bud Cave. As she encourages me (“encourages” may not be the proper word) to straighten up the Bud Cave, I politely tell her she rules the house but I rule the Bud Cave.

I have a “books to read” pile sitting on the floor of the Bud Cave near my desk. The “books to read” pile always seems to be about the same size, around 10 books. When I read one or two, I seem to buy two or three more, so the pile remains about the same height sitting on the floor. Current members of the “books to read” pile include a book on Buddhism, a book about the California Gold Rush given to me by my friend Norm, a book entitled “Too Big to Save” (about the US financial system), a biography of JP Morgan, a book about the House of Medici (and the Italian Renaissance), the “Wilderness Warrior ( a book about Teddy Roosevelt), a book about better eating habits, a book entitled, “How Rome Fell”, a book published in 1908 entitled “Salt Lake City Past and Present” and book entitled “A History of Iraq. A book about St Thomas More is also a current member of the pile. I did have two books about St Thomas More but I finished one on Friday. I also had a book about corruption in Chicago politics lent to me by my friend Dick, a former Illinois State Senator, but I started reading that book yesterday so it has been moved from the “books to read” pile to the table next to my leather chair.

The “books to read” pile drives the Lovely Sharon crazy. I think it is part of her Catholic or mid-western upbringing. I am not exactly sure which of those factors causes her to go crazy with me piling books on the floor, but one of them certainly does. In the eyes of the Lovely Sharon to have a pile of books on the floor is essentially a mortal sin. It represents heretical behavior that in earlier times would result in burning at the stake or beheading at the Tower of London. I think she would be more comfortable if the Bud Cave looked like the sleeping quarters of St. Francis of Assisi (I used to have a book about St. Francis in the “books to read” pile but I finally read it and transferred it to the read books section of my coffee room). I think Sharon would like me to have, as did St. Francis, a simple hard wooden chair with a straight back sitting next to a small oak writing table. On this spartan table would be a candle and quill pens in a tin cup. A couple of leather bound hand written books with Latin text would be neatly sitting on the desk. If Sharon had her way, there would be nothing on the floor, the Bud Cave would have a monastistic appearance, and it would be well dusted. There would be total order in the Bud Cave at all times. For me, I believe if man was not supposed to create piles of books, God would not have invented the floor or wall-to-wall carpeting.

The Lovely Sharon has the same view about golf clubs leaning against the wall in the Bud Cave as she does about piles of books. Last summer I had about ten golf clubs leaning against the wall in the Bud Cave. Persimmon drivers and fairway woods, a hickory shafted putter that was a first prize trophy from a couples golf tournament, a couple of other putters and a couple of wedges from my set of Hogan blades. When I looked at these clubs leaning against the walls it made me feel like I was amongst old friends. One day she said these clubs made the Bud Cave look sloppy and accordingly I moved them to a storage room. With these golf clubs removed from the Bud Cave it was like the empty nest syndrome of parents whose children have all left home. The room felt bare, lonely, something definitely missing. Several days later I arrived home from work and descended into the Bud Cave. To my absolute delight, the Lovely Sharon had retrieved five of the banned golf clubs from storage and they were again leaning against the wall in their old familiar place. She no doubt knew that I was missing these beloved clubs. Life was back to normal, the universe was set right.

When Sharon is in Utah, I love it when she enters the Bud Cave, sits on a sofa and watches TV while I sit reading in my leather chair. When that occurs, I don’t care what she watches; she can turn off the manly movie I am watching for one of her home makeover shows. The Bud Cave and the Lovely Sharon, my two favorite things in life.

Today as I sit at my desk writing this essay, I look around the Bud Cave. I see my leather chair, a recliner, two sofas, a big screen TV, golf clubs against the wall and my “books to read pile”. I can see the Neighbor’s Dog through the window behind my desk. He can see me as well and he no doubt is waiting for me to bring him two doggie treats. His look of forlorn makes me feel guilty to even finish this writing before bringing him his treats.

This is my modern day Walden Pond. This is my place for thought, for writing, for music, for entertainment, for reading. My place to create enthusiasm for life and enthusiasm for life is essential to each of us. Maybe Henry David Thoreau said it best when he wrote “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” The Bud Cave, and all things in it, makes me enthusiastic for life.


  1. I think every man needs a "cave" I know Nick would love one! Maybe I'll start working on our basement for him...

  2. FYI, Ali is my sweet beautiful daughter-in-law. the wife of Nick and the mother of beautiful grandbaby Kendall.


  3. Hey Bud. I have an idea! What would the Lovely Sharon think if you bought a gun rack, hung it on the wall, and gently placed the clubs horizontally. Is there something wrong with clubs horizontal or a gun rack on the wall?

    Maybe I should have suggested this via private email.

    BTW I bet my cave is less tidy than yours.