Steve's Yarns-- All those years growing up
and living in Oklahoma, California, Arizona,
Texas, and Africa..... Ain't done growing up
'til I get over on the other side :-)




EDITOR:
Steve Van Nattan

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  YARNS--
Home Spun and True

By Steve Van Nattan
An expatriate Wog with a story to tell

Own only what you can carry with you,
Know language, know countries, know people.
Let your memory be your travel bag.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

 

INTRODUCTORY BLATHER

Upon reaching the age of seventy, I have been told that I now have the right to indulge in reminiscence without apologizing.

The problem is, we all indulge in nostalgia at times. And, modern society mocks at nostalgia when they find someone indulging. Why?

Nostalgia in the original Greek: Nostos and Algos.....
To go home and suffer. Suffer because, if you do go home, it is no longer what your left behind, and if you just reminisce, you suffer because you cannot bring it back anyway.

Modern society, in the USA, Europe, Russia, China, and Africa has been thoroughly unsettled. By this, I mean the world's peoples have been enticed, coerced, and bribed to move from the farm and the brushy country to the big city. Thus, millions have totally lost touch with their heritage.

Well, honey, I ain't!

And, I find that God has blessed me with a place in the Texas Hill Country as I approach the end of the road this side of heaven. This rare habitat is one of those few places on earth where you feel at home just about thirty minutes after you arrive. "Why did it take me so long to get here?" And, the folks in the Hill Country are so proud of that fact that they make sure you feel at home immediately.

Now, Tennessee..... not so. They keep you classified as "the new people" for ten years. Maybe that is why Sam Houston and Davey Crockett wrote GTT (gone to Texas) on their door and moved on the Texas long ago.

Thus, those of you who venture into this section of the Journal will have to tolerate my attitude, if you please, and I hope that I can reward you in some small way with strange stories of my past experiences.

The baboon in the picture above looks very much like the ones who stole my mangos as I was growing up in Tanzania. Hopefully, I have acquired a few more civilizing traits than this fellow, but I think he is very much in context on this page.

Christ Jesus is due all credit for anything I may contribute to life. I shall not, however; make silly scenes of false humility. My life has been rather colorful at times, not because of my own cleverness, but because my Lord has graciously chosen for me a life trail which is rather fun to look back over.

Elizabeth is my good wife, and she was my class mate at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. She is consulted on these yarns since she also suffered through many of them. She will add some of her own stories along the way.

Come by and see us, and we will roast some Harrar coffee and boil the ibrik (Arab coffee pot), and we'll spin a yarn on the front porch. We make Wog chai (African tea) for those who appreciate it. Winston Churchill said, "The
Wogs begin at Dover," so all of us are Wogs. Our tea comes from an Indian duka in Austin, Texas-- special import quality, AND a bakshish thrown in. If you need it badly, we have wimbi (red millet) on hand and can make up a pot for you. We have teff for you Ethiopians-- call ahead so we can get the leet aged properly.

Someone once said, and it might have been me,
"Don't look back when things are getting rough--
Look back when times are good.
The past will add peace to the moment at hand."

Let's look on back down the road for a while.

If you want to see chronology, go to my
BIO PAGE TO BROWSE.

Also, a more detailed
BIO PAGE FOR THE JOURNAL

Enjoy.

 

 

COMPANION BLOG:

BALAAM'S ASS SPEAKS

Someone in the hut has the short-wave radio on.

Click on the door, say "Hodi,"wait to hear "karibuni," and you may enter and hear the Mwanza Town Choir singing. Enter with many Jambos and quiet kindnesses, and you will be invited to stay for chai and mandazi (fried corn fritters).

Mind your manners and be a blessing in any way, and I promise you, you will be invited to stay for ugali na kuku (corn meal mush and curried chicken.) If you hear a chicken out back squawking it is too late to decline-- your supper is already being prepared :-)

My Daddy recorded the
Mwanza Town Choir
in the 1970s. He played
the bass in those days.
Mwanza is a small sleepy
but industrious city at the
south tip of Lake Victoria
in Tanzania.

This man lived there, and this man still loves the music of the saints in Mwanza.

If my Lord let me live out the whole of his coming Messianic Kingdom in Tanzania, I would be happy for one thousand years.

Listen to the Mwanza Town Choir as you visit here.

More African Music on this site

Nostalgia for 1950s BBC junkies

 

 

Personal from Steve Van Nattan:

I am having a hard time to pull away from editorial about life in general long enough to do one of these yarns. Sooooooo, you can help motivate this old geezer by sending mail and asking me to do some particular title below (in black text) which I have put off too long.
I am particularly interested in knowing what my friends from RVA and mission days in Africa would like to hear about.
SEND MAIL

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The following include yarns of Steve and Elizabeth Van Nattan, and yarns of
other people that fit. If you read the menu of life below, I promise you that
you will find something you cannot resist. God gave Elizabeth and me priceless
experiences over a lifetime, and I try to make it worth your time to read here.

GROWING UP IN AFRICA

AROUND THE WORLD (KIAMBU, KENYA)
ON BOBBY HOLLENBECK'S BIKE

An adventure in the Hills above Kijabe mission station and a visit with an old Kikuyu shop owner

THE DAY THE FAT LADY SANG
My experience on the HMS Mauritania

MY CAREER AS A ROCKET SCIENTIST
Bob Capen and I launch an experimental rocket and nearly light the forest on fire.

MY DAD THE IMPROVISER

LIVING WITHOUT THE GREENS
We had not idea there was a green way to do things back yonder. You decide who had it right.

MY ESCAPES FROM AMERICA--
VIA NEW YORK CITY-- FOUR TIMES !!

THE NIGHT THE DONKEY CAME TO PRAY

HOW TO TRAIN A PET LION IN KENYA

CHARLIE HESS-- This story is finally finished.

BBC- A NOSTALGIC LOOK BACK IN TIME

HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS....

WALJI LOSES OUT TO HP PATEL

THE AFRICAN ADVANTAGE--
An African view of White Race Sophistication
This article is finally complete

MY KEEPERS
Staff and dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy

AZIZ AND AKBAR-- Muslims who were not the enemy

THE STORY OF MOUNT LONGONOT--
My adventure with Bob Capen

BABOONS-- The Smartest Apes in the World

EGGS-- Buying them and tithing them

FETCHING THE MAIL--  
Online browsers may load this one.

PAUL BEVERLY takes me on a bicycle ride.

RVA FOOD  Strange things-- Wonderful things

HAM BY MAIL  Or, The Ham that crawled in From the Cold.

BULL DOG, MUD FIGHTS--
Dinky toys, nyabs, and hill climbing

PINCHING ANTS-- Keep moving

MY DISCOVERY OF AN ANCIENT HISTORIC EVENT

 

AFRICANS I HAVE KNOWN

 


GROWING UP IN THE USA
Before and after life in Africa

MY FAVORE KIDS' PROGRAM ON RADIO- CIRCA 1949

 

 

 

If you would like a particular yarn from the list below, SEND MAIL, and I will see what I can do. Also, if you can relate to one of the yarns in the menu at the right, phone me at:
V:I:II::VI:VII:III::III:III:0:IX

 

LINKS:

Great Place to Eat Ethiopian food.

Another one in Colombus, Ohio

This made tears come as my mind
went careening back with David's help


VAN NATTAN FAMILY TALES

A MACHINE AND HALF A HOLE-- Life in Tennessee

 

ARMY DAYS AT FORT KNOX

 

COLLEGE DAYS

 

PASTORING ADVENTURES

THE SEVEN CYLINDER PONTIAC--
Adventures with devils

 

PIANO TUNING YEARS
Including Michigan, Arizona, Tennessee, and Texas

 

GARDEN PLOTS

 

MISSIONARY DAYS

WALKING MY MONKEY

MERV ROSELL and the four ships

 

TALES FROM THE WEB JOURNAL

BOOKS I HAVE READ

 

RESTAURANTS AND FOOD ALONG THE WAY

(Make a page for the following)

USA

 

ETHIOPIA

 

KENYA

 

TANZANIA

 

THE UK

 

 

 

 

 

STEVE'S TEX-MEX YARNS

BALAAM'S ASS SPEAKS BLOG

 

 

 

 





 

 

For the record:
Every story is copyrighted.
You may SEND MAIL asking to use the stories, but here are the rules:

2. Ask first. Everything on this site is copyrighted at the US Patent Office under a previous web site name, BALAAM'S ASS SPEAKS.
Thou shalt not steal.

3. You may use these yarns if you do not alter, truncate, or enhance one word of the text, though you may arrange it to fit your web site format.
Changing typos and syntax errors are obviously your choice, but check on place names.
Flickr photos are given credit, which you should also do.

4. You may add your thoughts to parts of the story if you make it VERY clear that it is your comment, not mine.

5. If you change anything to make mockery of Jesus Christ or the Word of God, I shall expose you vigorously in
other areas of this journal and elsewhere online. LIKE HERE You may mock me all you like IF you do not edit the story.
I delight in being mocked personally by the adversary, for it brings me more traffic.

6. You pastors may use any story you like as a sermon illustration and print it in weekly or monthly news letters
OFF THE WEB without notifying me. If you use anything on a ministry related web site, please give credit and links.

7. Be careful about using the word "gullible." They have taken that word out of the dictionary. (1)

 

 

(1) Did you believe me?

 

 

NOTICE:
If you wish to communicate with me by phone, call: 512 673-3309
I am particularly eager to talk about African issues if you think of one that needs attention.

ANOTHER NOTICE:
If you are an old coconspirator from the past, or if you just want to hear some chatter about long ago, call please, and we will make time in our busy schedule of puttering about the ranch to spend time together and make some wog chai (African tea). We particularly welcome African students in the USA who want to hear about the old paths in East Africa. If you are a child of the British Empire colonial era in Africa, we would also love a visit from you. We might even manage a bit of curry for tea.

YET ANOTHER NOTICE:
This is not the last notice, mind you, so check back every day to see what I finally put here. It may be urgent.

FINAL NOTICE:
See "YET ANOTHER NOTICE" just above please.

 

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