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Gern Dog & Dude Book Cover

Gern Dog and Dude  both have incredible

 personalities.  Gern Dog has a blended mixture

of serious and rascal.  Dude is a fine

dog full of playfulness and roughhouser. 

It is difficult to determine which of them is more

animated and fun to be around.  The story

in this book will help you answer that

bamboozling question...  Mel

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Sweet Outdoor Adventures of Jake Honey Book Cover

When I was a kid, whether living in an urban city

or rural town, during the summer school vacation

months, I spent most of my waking hours outdoors. 

I learned at a young age that with the “nervous

energy” I possessed, if I lingered inthe house

too long, my mother would insist that I…

get out of the house... Mel

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Talking Cats and Dogs

Just from the way a cat or dog will look at you, or

from the way a cat might meow, or the way a dog

might whimper or gargle, yes gargle, muffled tones

at you while moving their jaw up and down you just

know that… they are talking to you... Mel 

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  Riverside Americana Book Cover


I've known Mel for 20+ years.  This Book defines his character, his love for the sport, and time spent with family and friends in the outdoors.  Any fan of the sport will relate to the comedy he brings to light.  Truly a great read...

Scott Gerdes, Owner,

Hunting Nebraska Outdoors


Scott Gerdes' Web Site


The 10 Days of Thanksgiving Book Cover

Mel’s book on life in a duck blind certainly does promote Nebraska’s waterfowl hunting.  If you are a waterfowl hunter, you will definitely enjoy his book...

Dick Turpin, 40 year employee of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission (retired)


Excerpt  from  Riverside  Americana

Friday, November 23, 1990

Gritt and I drove up (to Riverside Acres cabin) Thursday afternoon, after Thanksgiving dinner.  We had a feast at his home.  I drove because Gritt’s truck was in the body shop. He had some front-end damage resulting from last week’s parking lot bumper car/demolition derby incident.  I can’t go into details.

Gritt and I awoke (Friday) instinctively and simultaneously at 5:30am.  For some reason, the outrageously clanging wind-up alarm clock didn’t want to provide service this morning.  Usually scares the life out of me.  Man that thing is a terror when it goes off; like an alarm to start a horse track race. 

Well, we managed to miss our self-proclaimed dawn flight of game waterfowl; a typical regular occurrence.  But from the lack of hearing any shotgun blasts up or down the river (Platte River), I don’t think we missed out on any shooting opportunities. 

Okay, here we go sport fans.  I just lost my  b r a n d  n e w  duck call.  I don’t mean that I misplaced it.  It dropped into the river (Platte River); an unforgiving river.  The first duck call I’ve ever owned.  I’d just purchased it a couple days ago. 

I was setting (floating duck) decoys, sporting my brand spanking-new chest-high waders.  Just tossing decoys into frog-deep water; knee-deep.  And when I bent over to adjust the position of a decoy, my brand spanking-new Olt (duck call) slipped right out of the chest-pocket of my vest.  Gone… into the dark and swiftly flowing Platte River.  Bye bye.

View across the Platte River on a nice, high water-level day.

‘Bring ‘em in close with an Olt’; that’s the sales slogan.  As it was, I never had a chance to even blow through that call once.  I had a lanyard for it (a type of necklace for the duck call), I just hadn’t put it on yet.  Can’t wait for the razzing from the guys.

Oddly, the river was higher and flowing swifter than usual.  I was able to test my new (chest-high) waders in deeper water than with those hip’es (hip-high waders) I had been borrowing.  An hour later though, we could have played crocket with the way the giant (oversized stake-out) goose decoy legs were exposed; river level went down five inches, if not more.

By now Gritt had asked me where my new call was.  I told him I was soaking the reed in the river.  He didn’t exactly know what I had said or what I had meant and said, “that thing isn’t a clarinet”.

An Olt brand duck call.

An Olt brand duck call.    


 Excerpt from The 10 Days of Thanksgiving

--  day two  --  100 is Our goal.  --

   The once ferocious wind-up alarm clock only had enough gumption in it to give “a single ping” (Hunt for Red October) this morning.  I then released the trip hammer so it could finish it’s irritating duty.  Thankfully one “ping” was all I needed to startle me into action.  It’s 5:30 am.  The coffee’s on.

   I found a gospel revival program on the radio and turned up the volume so to spiritually motivate the gang; it sort of works.  I don’t do it very often, but I do ad-lib and interject my own reverent remarks in a deliberately enunciated and “tonated” churchish phrases; halleluiah, praise the lord, and pass the coffee (Christmas Vacation parity).

   8:20  Okay.  Here we go again.  Gifts from the “duck and goose gods”.  Three Canadian geese, with heavy French accents, came and are in front of us; directly in front of us.  We weren’t moving around but we were blabbering a bit about packing it in for a while to take a mid-morning nap.  I still can’t believe we didn’t fleer them long-neck honkers.  They circled behind us and came in from the right for a dip in the pool; is any body going to call the shot.

  Instead of calling the shot, I flung my broom-corn covered mat as an abrupt signal.  Boom-boom-boom from each of us.  Geese go bye bye.  Yes, they’re really gone.  And yes, they were unbelievably in range.  We’re discussed and disgusting; I’m laughing, Mitch is cussing.

   Allow me to elaborate on this debacled situation.  Those geese came in from the west.  They came head-on to us.  They were probably some ones farm animals from that westerly direction.  With our pits just barely above grade, my eye level caught those big ‘ol birds at the tops of the heads of the floater decoys. 

   They were so low that if those geese would have had their landing gear down, they would have stubbed their webbed feet on the wire fence that divides our field from the neighbor’s field.  

   But as I say, they didn’t have their landing gear down, they weren’t dangling their legs.  They didn’t have their wings cupped to land either.  They weren’t going to land, but they looked close, they looked big-as-life; man they’re big birds. 

   They circled, but in a peculiar fashion.  One broke off and circled clockwise, but all three wound up in front of us where we wanted them.  They were between us and the big-boy Canadians stake-out decoys; right over two confidence duck decoys.  Why didn’t we shoot better.  I feel like a tourist. 

   What are we doing wrong?  Ah, maybe it’s not a big deal.  I just hope those geese went back to their farm... where it’s quieter. 

These geese are the six reasons I missed a good

friend’s wedding… and reception.

The 10 Days of Thanksgiving

is not available to purchase

at this time.

  Mel Oliva Book Store Photo Gallery Audio / Video M.I. Publishing