Friday, June 23, 2017

Four-letter Words: S and T

There are literally hundreds of four-letter English words that begin with "s."  The lovely initial sibilant sound is fun to make and pleasing to hear.  Place the tongue at the top of the upper teeth and s-s-s-say the sound!

Skep, skew, skid, sing, silo, shun, shoe, seed, sass.  What a wonderful panoply of words from which to choose.  I choose:

I particularly like this word because my BBBH introduced me to it.  This is a direct quote:

 "Stobs are tough on your feet when you are stealin' watermelons."  Spoken like a true Southern Illinois farm girl.  She was referring, of course, to the stubble in a cornfield.  Makes sense.  Barefoot girl, stobs, heavy melon. possibly an irate farmer.  Yeah, that would be tough.  But if you love watermelon as much as she does, . . .

The dictionary definition is

stob (n.)  a post, a stump, a stake
Regional, south central United States.


Our four-letter word for "t" is:

[W]hatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  --Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

I have a very strong preference for things that are true as opposed to, say, fake news.  I have no problem "making up" stories for this blog, but if you are observant you have noted that I tag such tales with the label "fiction."  I enjoy fiction, I like to read imaginative stories, I enjoy writing such tales, but I want my truth to be true.

A popular "t" word these days, way too long for this current exercise, is "truthiness."  What th' ?  I think the word did not even exist in my younger day, nor was there any need for it.

Please, just stick with what is true.  Or give me a heads up if you spin a tale.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tipton Artwork

The mural on the wall of the Diana Theater is complete, the scaffolds have been removed.
The vignettes on the "film" strip, left to right
The Kelley Round Barn; St. John the Baptist Church; Courthouse Clock Tower; Nickel Plate Station; City Park Entrance.
 The number on the admission ticket at the right is 06261926 which if I am not mistaken is the date of opening of the theater.

Muralist Robin Conyers

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Old Man and the Old Cars

Two of the boys, Kent and Ricky, picked me up Saturday morning and took me to a car show in celebration of Fathers' Day.  The show was the 30th Annual John Dillinger Legendary Bank Robbery Run in Daleville, Indiana, a bucolic thirty-minute drive from the house.

Whatever the show had to do with John Dillinger I failed to see, but it was a great car show!  Tons, literally, of entries ranging from '27 T-buckets to Cadillac road arks of the Fifties and Sixties and MoPar muscle cars of the Seventies.

To my surprise one of Kent's favorites (he's big on MoPar muscle cars) was a '63 Rambler 440.  He also was amazed at the Willys vehicles which he said he had never seen.  Ricky was enthralled with the Cadillacs.

After I was worn out and had seen about all the old iron I could process in one session, Kent treated us to a steak dinner, then home.

Great day!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

"Do You Love Me?"

You've probably heard it; I know I have.  "I love Jesus, but I am not religious."  Sometimes, "I am very spiritual, but I don't practice any religion."

Wait.  Before you call these people out for their appalling ignorance, think about what they are really trying to tell you.

"I love Jesus, but I am not religious."  This is to say I believe in Jesus but I don't want to practice any system that suggests that I am other than my own person.  I don't want others to think I might be different from them in some way.  I can love Jesus and still fit in with the worldly crowd.

A religion is a system of belief, a set of doctrines or tenets to which one subscribes.

"I am very spiritual, but I don't practice any religion."  Similar to the above, the speaker wants others to know that s/he is "deeper" than the appearance presented to the world.  I want to look like, speak like, act like the world, but deep down I am really special.  The problem here is that no matter what system one chooses to explore "spirituality," s/he is practicing a religion (system of belief.)  In a nutshell, it is possible to be religious without being spiritual, but it is impossible to be spiritual without being religious.

Either statement makes me sad for the speaker.  I have heard it even within the walls of the church building; I have heard it from the lips of a "minister."

"Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."  --James 1:27 (KJV)

 "Do you love me?" Jesus asked.  "Feed my sheep."  (John 21)

"Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  --Matthew 7:19-21 (KJV)

Assignment: Read the entire seventh chapter of Matthew.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Four-letter Words: Q and R

While there are twelve or fourteen four-letter "q" words one might expect that my favorite one would be:


I am a teacher.  What can I say?  "Class, there will be a quiz over the first section of this chapter tomorrow."  Or, one of my favorites, "Pencils and paper, ladies and gentleman.  We'll have a little pop quiz this morning.  Number your paper from one to five."

quiz (v.) to examine informally, interrogate briefly.

quiz (n.) the question or series of questions asked in a short informal exam. 

"The glee of the instructor is inversely proportional to the joy of the class."  Kidding.


If you thought the "r" word would be "rich," guess again.  Rich is an excellent word and I like being rich.  But I am not indicating worldly goods or treasure when I say I am rich.  I am talking about the cornucopia of blessings I have received.  Food, shelter, warmth, family, friends, sunshine, rain.  There it is!  The four-letter "r" word of choice is:


 Yes, I am one who counts rain as one of life's richest blessings.  Rain waters the earth, provides a basic necessity for all life: water.  Of course too much rain over too long a period of time can be distressing, but I truly appreciate our rainy days.  Flooding days, not so much.

rain (v.)  to fall; to send down upon

rain (n.)  water that is condensed from the vapor in the atmosphere.

I lived for several years in the Pacific Northwest.  That statement by itself evokes the idea of constant, never-ending rainfall in the minds of the uninitiated.  It is an inaccurate concept.  Unless one's entire time spent in the PNW falls between October and May.  There is a rainy season in which it seems almost perpetual precipitation occurs.  Usually light rain, but rain nevertheless.  The summers, though, are gorgeous and rain is rare.

In point of fact if the fall season remains dry late into October the locals in the area begin to get antsy.  "Where," they wonder, "is the rain?"

Fact: The average annual rainfall in Seattle is less than that in Indianapolis.  Check it out.

(Of course the PNW is a large territory and local rainfall figures vary widely.  Aberdeen, Washington, for example has an annual rainfall of 83 inches, whereas Sequim, not that far away, has an average of 16 inches.)

"May the Lord rain blessings upon you."


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Forces in the Universe

Here is today's weirdity.  This morning I was singing in the shower.  Burl Ives, "My Funny Way of Laughing."  Enjoying the song, thinking about Mr. Ives, now long gone.

Then I open the computer.  (Okay, I got dressed and everything first.)  In my news feed I find that Burl Ives was born on this date in 1909!

Eight years ago I posted a little tribute to Burl Ives along with his rendition of "Big Rock Candy Mountain."  To listen, click here.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Four-letter Words: O and P

One of my favorite four-letter "o" words is oven.  Clearly that is because of the wonderful comestibles that exit the oven and wind up on my plate.

But surprises are good.  Sometimes.  And sometimes not so much.  So for the "o" word I have selected:

 Unfortunately I have occasion to use this word too often.  Oops is an interjection, the first such that we have picked for this series.  It is most often used to express dismay at a minor mistake or mishap.  It may serve as an introduction to an apology as in, "Oops.  I'm sorry I spilled the coffee on the carpet."  (Although that could be a bit more than an "oops" depending upon whose carpet is stained.  Well, at least in my case, it would not be wine.

Oops.  I'm late; gotta be running along!

Pick a peck of peag.  There we go.  The word is:


Of all the words from which to pick, why peag?  Have I jumped the shark?  Well, no; but perhaps have gathered some shells.  As a school child I learned that the medium of exchange among the East Coast Native Americans (whom we called "Indians" at that time) was "wampum."  Later in life I learned that both "wampum" and "peag" are short forms for the "money" called wampumpeag.  Since I am a descendant of some of those people as well as the early seventeenth century arrivals from Europe I find it amusing to insert peag into a conversation.  Glazed eyes.

peag (n.) A string of white beads made from shells of the quahog.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Marcus walked through

the main door of the family restaurant on the southwest corner where two busy streets meet.  First time visit, so Marcus surveyed the place carefully before choosing a table as the sign posted at this hour read, "Please Seat Yourself."  To his left and toward the west end of the building was a large dining area, six booths along the south wall and many tables throughout the room, most arranged to seat four, a few small ones for two, and three round tables with six chairs.

Straight ahead past the buffet he saw another dining area, brightly lit, full windows on the east and north walls.  Just before entering this area, though, there is a diner-type horseshoe shaped counter with eight stools-- the perfect place for the single diners to sit unmolested or to swap lies with other men of like station in life.  There was but one occupant at this bar.  Tall guy, old.  Marcus would decline to guess an age, but the white hair, the cords down the back of the neck, the mottled hands, one holding a fork, the other a biscuit, all suggested the many years it had taken to develop to this stage.

As Marcus walked slowly past the counter he noted further that the blue jeans were Wranglers® well-worn to a dusty blue shade, not quite threadbare at the knees, but sharply creased and with no holes.  The shirt was western-cut, snap front and long sleeves, each with three snaps tightly fastened around the wrists.  Vertical narrow stripes, alternating brown, beige and black.  The boots, too, were western, brown, highly polished, roach-kicker toes.

On the stool next to this diner, this relic from an earlier day, was a black Stetson, brim up, the famous Stetson picture clearly visible inside the crown of the hat.  Marcus noted the "X X X X X X" inside the leather hatband.  Good quality, not the most expensive hat Stetson ever made.

Marcus, alone again after decades of togetherness with his beloved, took a seat at the other end of the horseshoe.  The old timer never so much as glanced toward the newcomer.  Marcus, though, continued to study the subject, the familiar mien, the craggy brow, the long, slightly hooked nose, the moderately upturned handlebar moustache all spoke to Marcus.  They said, "You know me, don't you, fella?"  Marcus turned his eyes to the waitress as she asked what he'd have to drink.  As he replied, "Water with lemon, please," a strange and uneasy feeling crept up his spine, the hairs on the back of his neck tingled, and as he turned to look once again at the man opposite him it felt as though a monstrous fist grasped his heart and squeezed it.  Marcus realized that he was looking at himself seated on the opposite turn of the horseshoe.

In a moment Marcus recovered, forced his left hand to reach for his billfold.  He took two singles from the wallet, placed them on the counter, rose from his seat. and walked quickly from the restaurant.  The old man never lifted his eyes, continued to concentrate on shoveling his food into his mouth.

Marcus very nearly ran across the parking lot to his car and very soon the entire town disappeared in the rear view mirror.  The memory would haunt Marcus until his eighty-fifth birthday, the day he drove through this village again, pulled into the parking lot of the family restaurant on the southwest corner . . .

 ©David W. Lacy 2017