A Good Man is Gone

Robert H. Fukuda passed away on June 25, 2021. Bob was my wife Heidi’s father. He was a man of few words, so few, in fact, that during the more than forty years that I knew him—and even though we only lived about six blocks apart for most of that time and frequently saw each other—I doubt there was a year when we spoke more than a hundred words apiece to each other. We had virtually no shared interests other than family. 

Heidi was nineteen and I was twenty when we began dating. She lived with her parents at the time. Cell phones and caller ID hadn’t been invented yet. When I called for her on their family phone and Bob answered, I said hello, told him my name, and asked for Heidi. He never replied to me. Bob just shouted for Heidi and set the receiver down.

During my visits, at some point usually early in the evening, he would stand, leave the room without saying a word, and not return. 

I was convinced that he neither liked nor respected me.

I soon learned that Bob answered the phone that way no matter who called. He went to bed at the same time and in the same way no matter whether I was there or not. He was a carpenter and had to rise early for work, so he went to bed early and without fanfare. 

Our first child, born thirteen months after Heidi and I were married, was her parents’ first grandchild. I remember Bob’s big smile as he played with our kids. He’d get down on his hands and knees and give them horse rides or wrestle with them, inspiring delighted laughter. 

He designed, and then he and I built, a large treehouse in our backyard for his grandkids. 

Bob and his wife Jane were always there for us. When Heidi and I relocated to my new job back in our hometown and our temporary corporate housing wasn’t yet available, Bob and Jane took us in. We lived with them until it was. 

At times when money became especially tight for Heidi and me, they always offered to help us. 

When my business grew to the point where it needed more space, Bob worked several weekends in a row and turned the detached two car garage at our home into a three-room office for my employees and me. Bob worked on the project seven-days a week for about two months, never complaining, nor requesting or accepting payment of any kind. 

We never heard him say that he loved us. He didn’t need to.  Bob showed his love for us through his actions.

He never tried to tell us what to do or how to do it, but he was always there when he was needed, just quietly and competently doing what needed to be done. 

Toward the end of his life when he and I were alone together I told him, man to man, that he was good man and father-in-law. He just replied in typical Bob Fukuda fashion, “Well, I don’t know about that.” But the look in his eyes let me know he was deeply touched by the comment. 

I’m blessed to have had Bob in my life, and am forever grateful to him.

Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments

Time for a Change

Thank you for all the support, and entertaining, humorous, heartfelt, and enlightening posts many of you have provided to me for many years. After much much soul-searching, I’ve decided to substantially reduce and perhaps eliminate future posts on this and my other WordPress sites. If you’d like to continue following me, please send a Facebook “Friend” request to me.

If you want to receive updates and occasional free offers regarding my books, stories, publishing, songs, etc, please “Like” my Facebook Author Page “RussTowneBooks” at:


Thank you. I hope to stay in touch with many of you on the flip side.

May your days be filled with blessings.

With love,









Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

But, Honey …


An older couple is having dinner in a restaurant. The wife sees another couple about their age sitting in a booth nearby. She sees the husband sitting close to his wife, with his arm around her. He is whispering things in her ear, and she is smiling and blushing. He’s gently rubbing her shoulder and touching her hair.
The woman turns to her husband and says, “Look at the couple over there. Look how close that man is to his wife, how he’s talking to her. Look at how sweet he is. Why don’t you ever do that?”
Her husband looks up from his Caesar salad and glances over at the next booth. Then he turns to his wife and says, “Honey, I don’t even know that woman.”
[forwarded by Jerrod Williams]
I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.
Photo Credit: Ben White via Unsplash.com
Posted in Humor, Marriage, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

A Bad Influence?

Papa Shirt and Thomas and Riley

I’m wearing my Father’s Day gift from Brian, Kristi, Zachary, Alex, and Raiden. It says, “They call me Papa because Partner in Crime makes me sound like a Bad Influence!” It’s perfect. I love it! The photo is with my oldest and youngest grandchildren Thomas and Riley.

With a whole lotta love,

Posted in Family, Grandparenting & Grandkids, Love, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

My First Western Romance​ Free!

Book Basic 6x9

Book Basic 6×9

My first western romance book, “Longshots of the Heart,” is now available as an audiobook! I’ll give a free copy of it to the first 20 people who tell me they want one and send their email address to me so I can send the promotional code for a download.
With love,
Posted in Audiobook, free, New Releases, Romance, Uncategorized, western romance | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

“Treasures of the Heart” Available Now!


Treasures of the Heart AUDIO

“Treasures of the Heart” my second romance novel set in the old west,  is now also available in ebook and softcover formats! An audiobook is being produced and should be released in six to eight weeks.

With love,




Posted in Romance, Uncategorized, western, western romance, Westerns | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Treasures of the Heart

Treasures of the Heart AUDIO.jpg

My second western romance book, Treasures of the Heart will soon be available in ebook, softcover, and audiobook formats.

Here are a brief description and sample:

Treasures of the Heart

A quiet quirky loner rides into Bent Fork on a horse named Sweet Pea to visit an old friend. He receives devastating news from his friend’s widow who says her husband died under mysterious circumstances and everything they’d worked for was stolen from them. Sparks soon fly as five people risk their lives to try to make things right. But Aloysius “Wolverine” McLean and Amanda Goodson discover the biggest challenge of all has less to do with guns and gold and everything to do with love.


Catherine and the Comanche

Cultures and genders clash as a courageous, young white woman and wily Comanche brave battle each other before finding themselves on a desperate mission to stop a war that would pit their peoples against each other. They soon learn their only hope is to work together against a tribe of treacherous warriors who’ll stop at nothing to ensure the pair don’t reach the fort alive. Does romance have a chance to take root and bloom in such brutal conditions?



McLean found a dull ax, sharpened it, and, stripping off his shirt, chopped a large pile of wood. He’d held off the noisy chore until he was sure Amanda was awake. The young man enjoyed the exercise and it felt good to earn his keep.

Amanda peeked out the window at his lean, masculine form and couldn’t help but admire how his muscles rippled as he worked. What a good man he is to try to help us with Pelton and to chop firewood for us. Thank you, Henry, for making such a friend. We sure could use his help. I hope he doesn’t get beat up or worse. He proved he can handle himself in a fair fight with that monster at the mercantile, but Pelton never fights fair. He’s likely to send men to shoot him in the back or something. With that thought, the young widow said a silent prayer for his protection. 

Amanda finished cooking and sent Tommy to fetch him for breakfast. Aloysius washed up using the hand basin on the small crudely made unfinished table on the tiny porch and put his shirt back on. A man worth his salt didn’t sit bare-chested at the table. The enticing aroma of coffee and bacon blended with the smell of freshly baked biscuits promised a delicious start to his day. With the addition of fried eggs, it was a filling meal that was every bit as delicious as the aromas had promised.

Amanda noticed how pleasant it was to once again have a good man at the table interacting with her and the children.

Looking at the large feast, Tommy’s eyes grew wide and he said, “Thank you for the bacon, Mama. It’s been so long since …”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full, young man!”

“But I swallowed first, Mama.”

“Well, best hush up and eat. Don’t want the food getting cold, and you two have chores to do.”

At Tommy’s comment and his mother’s reaction, McLean realized the family hadn’t had bacon—or probably any other meat—for quite a while. He seethed at the thought of what Pelton had done to this family.

McLean wiped his mouth and said, “Thank you, Amanda. I reckon that’s about the best meal I’ve had in way too long.” He meant every word of it. Henry had truly been a lucky man. A pretty wife and good woman who’s an excellent cook and mother of two great kids! Henry had treasure long before he found gold, and he was wise enough to know and appreciate it.

McLean said to the children, “I fed the livestock and milked the cows. I hope you don’t mind if I did some of your chores.”

They beamed as Sarah said, “We don’t mind.”

Tommy graciously added, “You can do them any time you want.”

McLean grinned, “Well, that’s mighty thoughtful of you two. I’ll keep your offer in mind. Thank you.”

Amanda prompted, “What do you say to Mr. McLean?”

The children replied in unison, “You’re welcome.”

The adults looked at each other and laughed.

After the dishes had been cleared, Amanda sent the children out to feed the chickens., collect eggs, and take care of their other chores.

“Well, I better hit the trail.”

“Please be careful, Aloysius. Rafe Pelton never fights fairly. He has a lot of thugs, bushwhackers, thieves, and other lowlifes to do his dirty work for him.”

The young man gave her a reassuring smile and said, “Don’t worry, I was born careful. I’ll try to avoid trouble if I can, or at least until we’re ready to make our move. Thank you for the delicious breakfast, Amanda.”

“I hope I made enough. I’ve forgotten how much to cook when a man is around.” Her eyes misted.

“There was plenty. Thank you.”


With love,





Posted in Action, Humor, Romance, Uncategorized, western | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Dedicated to those in the Darkness


To those who are in dark, cold, and fear-filled places, I offer and dedicate this poem:

Broken Promise

An unopened bud

A leaf left unfurled

A loss of great beauty

To a beckoning world

Withered by fear

From memories and pain

Won’t risk rejection

Shame and disdain

Unrealized potential

Hidden deep in a ball

They suffer in silence

A broken promise to all

Kindness can open

Closed buds over time

Heal shattered hearts

And help fearful minds

A bud can be opened

By the love of a friend

Who believes in their dreams

So their spirit can mend

Sometimes it takes

The smallest of sparks

A word to encourage

Those alone in the dark

Nurturing love

Can go a long way

To help beautiful petals

Feel the light of each day

Bask in the glory

Of knowing they dared

Make the world better

By the beauty they shared

Often late bloomers

Are most lovely of all

As their beauty is deeper

From their time in the ball

–Russ Towne
May your days be filled with blessings, dear friends.
With love,
Image Credit (above):  Johnnes Plenio via Unsplash.com
Photo Credit (below): Russ Towne
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

My Gift to You


I’m giving away a free copy of any one of my audiobooks to thank you for supporting my creative efforts. This offer is limited to those living in the US or UK and to the first 50 people who request one.
Hopefully, many of you will love the free audiobook so much that you’ll leave a review, but this offer is not contingent on you committing to do so.
You can find my audiobooks on Amazon and Audible by typing Russ Towne into the search field. Please tell me the title of the one you want and I’ll send a link to you that should enable you to receive it. I’m new at using this audible feature so there may be a false start or two before I work out the kinks.
I’ll likely need your email address to send it to you. You’re welcome to email it and the title of the free audiobook you select at russtowne@yahoo.com.
May your days be filled with blessings
With love,
Posted in Audiobook, free, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Truth Finds a Way


Truth always seems to find ways to reach the light. I think that’s another great reason to try to live life in such a way that one never needs to fear the truth.

With love,


Photo Credit: Peter Oslanec via Unsplash.com

Posted in Life, LIfe Lessons, Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments