Category Archives: memories

IF I WON THE LOTTERY…

It is game people play when the idea of winning the lottery comes up.  A new house or a new car, a trip to some place they had always wanted to go.

I will admit that in general my winning the lottery would be kind of a waste.  I truly do not have grand dreams or desires, other than family, friends and the neighbors.  No one would know anything had changed, no one would be driving by the house real slow saying a millionaire must live there!

But one thought that come and it is mainly this time a year.  If I had the money there would be such a Christmas for parents and children of those who can not afford gifts!

And yes it is because of a personal story:

Since moving back to Kansas life has not been all that good, low paying jobs and living just below barely getting by. More Christmas then not the two of us have not given a gift of any kind to each other.

So the kids would at least get something.

One of those Christmases, it was another year of tight money and if not for family choosing to have Christmas diner here there would not have been one for us.  The kids had only the toys we could afford and those were mainly out of the cheap bin.

When it happened, I was under the kitchen sink.  Some how it got clogged and I ended up on Christmas Eve soaking wet and squeezed under the sink taking apart the pipes.

Suddenly there was a knock at the door; I ended up crawling out to be the one answering the door.  There on the front pouch were several black plastic trash bags?  I looked all over the yard but no one was there and I did not see any cars leaving?  To make it even odder, our outside dogs that normally would bark at even leaves blowing by.  But they had never made a sound and were just ten feet away on the patio!

I opened one of the bags and there were toys inside, every bag had toys in them.  Toys suitable for each child and their age!  To this day I have no idea who it was that left those bags on the front pouch.

But if I were to win the lottery, that is what would be happening tonight for every parent who can not afford to make their children’s Christmas bright. And one that they will not be going to school and listening to all their friends bragging about getting the latest toys while they got a dollar doll or cheap plastic car.

And like those parents that Christmas Eve, suddenly the thought of there really is a Santa Clause and perhaps a better world to them that they awoke to that morning.

 

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Filed under family, memories, Original writings

A mere 70 years ago

I am reminded to be grateful for what I do have.

And hopefully we won’t end up like this again…..

The photos below were taken 1935 – 1939

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Filed under History, Income Inequality, Infrastructure, memories, The Economy

PERSONAL OBSERVATION ON A PERSONAL MATTER.

 

Tobacco being an expense and not having gotten any unemployment for the last five weeks.

This morning I was reduced to digging out a relic, my dad’s pipe and a bag of tobacco.

Fortunate for me my son-in-law has better taste in pipe tobacco then dad did and the bag was left by my son-in-law.

The pipe really is a relic, twenty years ago my dad had broken his pipe and I was smoking a pipe then.

So I had given him one of mine, since I had about ten different pipes I was really into smoking a pipe!

Well this morning I load the pipe and started to light it when I noticed I was having trouble.

The bowl seemed out of line and turning away from me.

I finally took it from my mouth and looked it over, dad had done his remodel on it!

He liked straight stem and I like to have a downward bend, he had done some craving and then taped it to suit him. The problem was he was right handed and I am left handed.

Being in my right mind often sets me at the mirror image of how everyone else does things.

Left justified instead of right justified, once I moved the pipe to the other side of my mouth everything seem to line up just fine.

Does that ever happen to you, something that once belonged to a parent and it was passed down.

But it brings out a difference between you and them?

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Filed under family, Just Plain Fun, Life Lessons, memories, You know you're getting old when . . .

Write letters — to incredible kids!

Last week I learned that the third Thursday in March — the 18th this year — is set aside as “Absolutely Incredible Kid Day.”  Camp Fire USA began this annual, award-winning, national call to action, asking adults to write letters of love, encouragement and inspiration to the children of America.  What a worthwhile idea!  At their website (linked above) Camp Fire USA gives letter-writing tips and encouragement on this day set aside to offer positive reinforcement to the incredible kid(s) you know!

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Filed under memories, Original writings, Useful and Timely Info

PERCEPTIONS AND REALITY OF A PRESIDENT

I really hated President Bill Clinton, no really I had a hatred for him. I would have believed him capable of any ill and most certainly guilty of every allegation.  That was over a decade ago.  Now he was not that bad, looking back. My perception at the time was not supported by the reality of the time.  But that seems to happen a lot more then I realized, watching a program on the History channel really brought that home.

L.B.J., whenever I thought of him during his administration, he had Vietnam hanging around his neck.  It was the only thing I actually associated him with: the expansion of the war and the bombing.  Perhaps it was because I was coming up on 18 years of age and would face the draft.  It could have been the nightly news of the war and it being fresh in my mind.

But there was far more going on involving Lyndon B. Johnson.  The Civil Rights bill, the Fair Housing bill and the Voting Rights bill, along with Medicare.   Years later after finally realizing all he had done, he [Johnson] was a far greater President than I would have imagined, or realized at the time.  Bad on me, for what he did far and away outweighed his association with a war he had inherited.  It took a toll on him too, as he put it, to “give the South to the Republicans ” which also meant it took a toll on the Democratic Party. But at the time I did not notice it or think about it.

FDR, foresaw the threat of the Nazis to the point he pulled a G. W. Bush or perhaps Bush pulled an FDR. Roosevelt wanted the American Nazis and those expressing either sympathies or anti war ideologies to be wire-tapped. This was at a time when we were not at war and did not look to be going to war against the Nazis.  The Supreme Court refused to allow FDR’s wiretap,  so FDR simply told his A.G. to go ahead and order the wire-tapping on the authority of the Office of the President.

Who does not think of FDR as a great President or knew at the time he willfully violated the orders of the Supreme Court and the Constitution? As it turned out, he was right in his suspicion of the Nazis and otherwise was justified in his actions. But still it is alarming to find out he did not hold up to the law.

As of yet I am not so willing to give G.W. Bush the benefit of the doubt as to his presidency.  But it does give me pause, to wonder what will come out in ten or more years that will give far more insight then I had during his administration?

Perception and reality of a Presidency often are not the same, it would seem.

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Filed under George W. Bush, History, memories

Woody Guthrie, “The Naked Ape,” and Swimming Pool Sex

Woody_Guthrie_NYWTS[1]The_naked_ape[1]There was a comedian (I think it was George Carlin) who said “If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck, somewhere, will buy it.”  This hammering process, in the context of reminiscing, has been my “thread approach” this week.  I see no reason to change that now – this one is three things nailed together, that shouldn’t be, probably.  [And, by the way, Emily, you are not to read this post!  – I am sure that will stop her.]

In 1974, I think it was, there was a huge Rolling Stone article about Bob Dylan and his admiration of Woody Guthrie.  Dylan found Woody in a sanitorium in New York when the latter was dying from Huntington’s Chorea.  He would visit him daily, play his guitar and sing him songs.  This magazine (in those days it was more like a newspaper – remember that?) article was the inspiration for a road trip.  My best friend in College and I decided we were going to Okemah, Oklahoma that fateful July to find Woody Guthrie’s grave.  At the time, there was a news story about how the city of Okemah would not let a group of musicians (a large group of different acts who had produced two albums covering Guthrie’s music) build a library in honor of Guthrie.  For some reason, it sounded like a place we wanted to go to.

The semester before we went on our road trip, I had read a book by Desmond Morris called The Naked Ape: A Zoologist’s study of the Human Animal. Morris speculated in the book that the reason we humans were hairless (relatively speaking) apes was that we spent a large amount of time in water once we had climbed down from trees.  We evolved to make life in the water more efficient.  This digression becomes salient, later.

Getting to Okemah was not difficult.  We found a police officer sitting on a chair on the porch of the Police Station.  He told us where the cemetary was and where the former home of Woody Guthrie was.  We asked him why the people of Okemah did not want to have the Library built that was meant to honor Guthrie.  He said something to the effect of “We didn’t want any library honoring a shiftless and communist guitar picker built here.”  We said thank you, and quickly departed, before anyone could cue up banjo music or make requests of us to make animal sounds.

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Filed under Evolution, memories

Baggin’ it.

400SackLunchYou all remember school lunches? The ones you brought to school, and how they entwined themselves into our daily routines?  First, the brown paper sack. Remember the sound it made when opened at the table with all the other kids? Opening the sandwiches neatly wrapped in wax paper; looking around at what the other kids had. Jimmy’s got strawberry jam; you got grape. He hates strawberry, you love it, so you trade. When you’re done, you carefully fold the sack up and put it in your back pocket, because mom wants to use it again. Even has your name on it.

Then came the rectangular lunch boxes, bright, shiny and new. Mine had Hoppalong Cassidy on it, because Cassidy land was three blocks from where I lived, so he was my hero. Remember the smell wafting out as you opened it up? I think that smell has long gone from this world, and I miss it.

Then you graduated to the big lunch boxes, with the thermos in it. Most of the time it had milk, but once and awhile you snuck in some orange juice instead. Or maybe tried a soda, which turned flat, so you didn’t do that again. Mine was basic black, but had Flash Gorden on it, because he was the intergalactic hero with the beautiful girl at his side, and I was starting to notice such things. Then, suddenly, it was gone, and the cafeteria, mystery meat and all, became the center of the school universe, and your youth slowly faded into the past

What are your memories of lunch at school? Did you bring your own? Make it yourself, or did mom make it for you? Buy it at school? Do you even want to go there? Hungry minds want to know.

jammer5

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Filed under History, Humor, memories