Abilene, Ventura, Lincoln, Santa Fe, Skokie, Cedar Rapids, Chicago, and Albuquerque are my homes.

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Gardening has always been my favorite hobby. Photo: Author’s Mom.

Hello! Arthur Keith is my pen name. I dropped my last name for this purpose. I always wanted Keith to be my first name. I could have made it happen when I moved to a new city (Albuquerque) two years ago. No one knew me here. Would my life be any different if I had been Keith?

I’ve always loved writing and have been told that I’m pretty good at it. I guess I’ll let the audience decide on that. While I became a Medium Member…

Hi Chris, I read that you assisted Quy Ma in the creation of the "About Me" series, so I thought I ought to join your followers. Glad I did! So much of it really resonated with me. And I have a good understanding of place, as I lived in Chicago for 34 years. I'll be submitting my "About Me" piece in the next couple of days. Hope that you catch it! Many thanks.

“Do this, don’t do that…” — The Five Man Electrical Band.

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Photo by Eduardo Flores on Unslplash.com.

I have questions.

Three months ago wasn’t the first time I started writing on Medium.

The first story I published was on 12/5/2018. The next one came on 4/21/2019, and then it skips to 11/8/2019. There were a few others, but things didn’t kick into gear until 11/9/2020, with Reasons I Don’t Write.

The reason I could not get started was that I was a trainwreck. Underlying it all was the fact that I was an untreated manic person.

In 2017 I lost a job that I loved. In…

Not so much anymore.

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Defunct Airline Timetables. Photo: Author.

The things you collect. Airline timetables didn’t seem so cool.

When does the “cool” factor set in? By the time we had reached middle school, we knew what to wear, what music to listen to, and generally, how to act and understand what was and wasn’t cool. If you had an older brother or sister, that gave you a leg up.

I’m still kind of embarrassed about this story. I guess I don’t care anymore about what other people think. I can be cool, but I’m also a geek. So, “Up, Up, and Away!” we go!

No one says that anymore — do they?

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Photo by Jupiterimages on Picspree

Have you ever been fired? If you have, it’s one of the most humiliating experiences you can go through in your career.

If it did occur, did anyone actually say, “you’re fired”? Most of my job experience is in the corporate world, where they try to have a “kinder and gentler” way of phrasing it. It’s usually something like, “we have to separate our employment with you.”

Oh gosh, I feel so much better now.

It may be a separation to them, but to you, you were just fired. Now you get…

You can’t always get what you want…

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Black Hollyhocks, Belmont Ave., Chicago. Photo: Author.

Some people want expensive clothes and finery.

Some people want a yacht.

Some people just want food on the table.

I want a black hollyhock.

Gardening can take up as much space as you allot to it. I don’t have nearly enough space to do what I want, so most of my gardening takes place in containers. My gardening career began with vegetables, but then the joy I found in flowers unearthed a whole new pleasure.

I attribute part of my love for flowers to Georgia O’Keeffe. She liked painting abstracts of flowers…

And Finding Wisdom in your Garden

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Plant hardiness zones according to the USDA.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year. When the Burpee seed catalog arrives in the mailbox, it’s a harbinger of spring (even though winter just started two weeks previously!) In the following weeks come a plethora of catalogs until you just can’t absorb any more. This year’s stack is already nearly 4 inches high.

The first real job I ever had was during high school at a vast retail nursery in Ventura, California. I was assigned to bedding plants, and my textbook was Sunset’s “Western Garden Book,” which I clung to dearly…

Is it just me, or are we, like, getting old?

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Photo by Claudio Schwarz/@purzlbaum on Unsplash.

That saying, “back in the day,” makes me cringe every time I hear it. It wasn’t long ago that I began to hear my contemporaries use it. I think it might have been at a high school reunion. It scared me to death. You know why?

Because it ages us! Like most baby boomers, I don’t like to be looked upon as old, let alone older than I am. Like TAB, Oldsmobile, PanAm, even Blockbuster — those entities are gone. We’re not!

A lifetime love affair

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Diana Ross, from the Author’s Collection.

Do you remember the first 45rpm/single record you ever bought? Mine was “Bang, Bang” by Cher in 1966. I wouldn’t say I liked it that much, but I was being rushed at the TG&Y to pick something out. It was the number two song that week. Number one was “The Ballad of the Green Berets, " which was just too “straight” for me, even at the age of nine.

How she escaped my formative years, I’ll never know, for there were many opportunities for Diana Ross (and/or The Supremes, and/or Diana Ross and The Supremes) to…

But Don’t Call Me Daddy!

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Me. Photo Credit: Me.

“people say shit like it gets better, but what they mean is

there’ll always be haters only you’ll be older” — Richard Scott, SOHO

“What’s up?”


“How’s it goin’?”

“Send me nudes.”

“Send me dick pics.”

“You’re too old for me.”


Arthur Keith

My life in the context of 20th-century history and pop culture — infused with a dose of fun (where appropriate!) More to come when I get my sea legs on here.

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