Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Retrospective

On the last day of 2013, a look back.  Do you remember that I told you it was not a "prime year," giving its factors as 1, 3, 11, 33, 61, 183, 671, and 2013?  Okay, so now it ends.  Not prime, perhaps, but not a bad year, either.  Oh, yes, there have been disasters, wars, turmoil, and grief.  Yet I write in terms of my personal survival of another transit of Old Sol by our puny planet.

As for the blog, it seems I have posted 298 times this year, far short of the one-time near-daily posting I once did.  And yet sufficient unto the cause, I find, is a number falling below the one-to-one correspondence level I once sought to achieve.  And I do not feel the least bit guilty about missing some days.  In point of fact, I find that taking time off now and then enhances the effort.  I think so anyway.

On a personal note, we are doing quite well in spite of the aging process which does take its toll, yet no more severely than we are able to cope with, praise be to God.  I will begin my ninth decade of life in a few months, should I live that long, and BBBH is only two or three laps behind me.  We are still able to care for ourselves, sweep the floor occasionally and dust once in a while.  You, of course, are welcome anytime you wish to drop by for a visit, but no white gloves, please.

As December closes out and January begins, we wish you well, and we wish you much happiness during the New Year.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Run-run-run-runaway

Charles Weedon Westover recorded and released "Runaway" in 1961.  It charted number one in the US, in Australia, and in the UK.  Though he had a long and successful career, this was the only one of his singles that charted number one in the US and the UK, and one of three that did so in Australia.

Michigan boy made good.  Tragically died young (aged 55).

Charles W. Westover, December 30, 1934 - February 8, 1990  RIP



Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Write

My sister who is a published novelist left this tidbit on her most recent book's facebook page.

"Use your imagination. Trust me, your lives are not interesting. Don't write them down." - W. P. Kinsella (Author of “Shoeless Joe” – adapted into the movie “Field of Dreams”)


Image: Media Canada

Personally, I had more or less subscribed to the "Write what you know" dictum, which has been variously ascribed to Mark Twain, William Faulkner, James Thurber, and Anonymous who predated them all.

Image: biography.com

Well, perhaps this explains why my sister is a published author and I am an unknown scribbler in flyover country.

Compulsion.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kitty, Kitty!

We had a lovely visit with friends Stan and Pat a few evenings past.  Since our last visit in their home, both their kitty and their dog went to the Rainbow Bridge.  Thus they have acquired two new cats.



These felines are litter-mates.  Orange liked me, and came right up to me and asked for pets.  Very loving cat.  Black Ears would not get within two feet of me.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Laugh if You Must

This clip illustrates exactly why one should  be either a cat person, or a dog person.  Anyone who keeps a dog in the house and harbors a cat should be brought up on animal abuse charges.  Poor doggie!

The dog is a loving and noble beast.  He wishes no one any harm.  Were this not the case, those cats would be playing an entirely different game-- "Where's the Cat?"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 21st Amendment

Did I ever tell you about the 21st Amendment?  Well, I shoun't have to tell you, on accounta you shoulda learned hit in school.  But, howsumever, I mought tell you about whut hit done for the Valley.  Well you do know that this fambly has been strong agin alcohol forever and ever, amen.  But what you haven't prolly thought about is that opposin' alcohol and supportin' prohibition ain't 'zactly the same thing.

Now I reckon I'm talkin' my own opinion here, so if'n your Granma, or your Aunt Grace express a differin' opinion, why jus' go along with 'em.  They not gonna change they minds.  Whut I believe is that when this nation outlawed alcohol, they done made outlaws out'n a big part a the population.  Bigger prollem than the law kin handle.  The on'y way to fix it is to repeal prohibition.  Which we done.  Done 'er in December of '33, and so New Year's Eve that year were a boozin' legal good time a drinkin' and whoopin' it up.  "Happy days are here again!"  Indeedy.  Now I don't hold with drinkin'.  Even the Bible say, "Wine is a mocker, an' strong drink is ragin'."  But I think people have to be responsible for theyselves.  And they for sure gonna drink if they want to, legal or not.

So Fred Beachum, ever'body call him "Freddy" you know, had a speakeasy over to Lamar.  Illegal as sin itself, but ever'body know hit were there, and ever'body whut want to drink know how to get there.  Well, Freddy see the handwritin' on the wall, so to speak, and when the states start ratifying that 21st, he start makin' plans not to go out of bidness, but how to continue bidness as usual, but in a legal way.  He know there'd be more competition, but he weren't worried none, on account he would be in on the ground floor, so to speak.  Well, Freddy bought hisself a farm out by Kornman.  Had a big ol' barn on the place, 'n he convert it into a nightclub, rolled and packed a big ol' field for parkin' and announce his grand openin' for New Year's Eve, 1933.

Party?  Why I guess so!  New York nor none a them big places have anythin' over on this county when it come to partyin'.   Ol' Sheriff Coleman and Lamar's own Mayor Grubbs did the ribbon cuttin' ceremony.  Sheriff hisself wielded the scissors!  Well, no, I warn't there, but ever'body still talkin' about hit clear unto the next New Year!

© 2013 David W. Lacy


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013


Merry Christmas!
Our greetings, we had hoped, would be accompanied with a current picture.  The most recent such thing in which we both appear seems to have been taken on Easter Sunday, March 31.  So here it is.  We like to think we have not changed all that much in  the intervening nine months.

Easter commemorates the culmination of the Christmas Story, for without the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord, there would be no point in Christmas, for God sent His Son to effect our salvation through his death on the cross.  In conquering death and the grave on our behalf, Christ provided atonement for our sins.  It is the greatest Christmas gift ever given, or that will ever be given.  The gift is ours to receive.

We wish you the very best, and the Merriest of Christmases!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Party On!

Family Christmas gathering tonight, our place.  Wish us well.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Work Brickle: A Christmas Story

Did I ever tell you about your Uncle Mil's Christmas?  Well, Milford, he had a reputation around Lamar.  Ever' one said he was work brickle.  Wal' he warn't work brickle, he were more "boss brickle."  See, when he was still a teenager his older brother get him a job on the railroad.  Whut he done was he sat up with the switch engine in the yards, kept it stoked and the steam up durin' the night when it maybe warn't being used.  Wal' it were a fine job, pay was good and the hours were reg'lar if'n you didn't mind sittin' in the cab a the donkey all night.

So anyways, one Monday night as he come to work his boss, Nick Cartee, you know Nick, married Sue Ann Sumter from over to Hasty, Nick come up and say, "Hey, Mil.  This is your last week here.  Hate to lose you, but the company is sendin' you to Dodge.  You start over there next Monday.  'Course you hafta move over there, but ya get a bit more dough, and it's a move up.  No tellin' how far you go with the company, Kid."

"Nuts to that," says Mil.  "I quit right now.  I ain't a leavin' Lamar."

"Now, wait, now.  You got that firebox to keep up tonight.  And besides, jobs don't grow on trees."

"Fire it yourself."

So then Mil find work at the mill.  Mil at the mill.  Har!  Doin' pretty well, too, until his boss come around and give him a new assignment, and you might guess how that turn out.  Boss brickle, like I say.

Anyways, Mil take a few days to redd up around his own place, get a load a stuff to haul off to the dump.  He get to the dump and he see these trailers backin' in and thowin' off perfeckly good junk.  And a light go off in his head, like in the funny papers.  First thing you know, Mil is pickin' the place, stackin' stuff aside and haulin' hit home.  Now he sorts stuff, repairs stuff, peddles stuff hither and yon and dreckly he is makin' a pile of money.  Then, behol' one day he sees a scruffy bum poachin' on his territory, so to speak.  Now Mil ain't one for confront-ation, so he goes off to town to see the mayor.  Mayor Grubbs come up here from Oklahoma years ago, but that's another story.  Next thing you know, Mil have a contract givin' him rights to whatsoever people thow off over to the dump.  Now he is in business for sure, and no matter what folk say about him, he is workin' harder now than most anyone else in town, and the po-lice keepin' poachers out his territory!

Now kids around town make fun of Mil, you know, because he is always pickin' and not always in a bidness suit, you might say.  You know how it goes, "Dirty Mil, dirty Mil, live on top a garbage hill." But Mil is shrewd, and he know which folk thow stuff out, and which ones never show up at his workplace.

Then a really cold and blustery Christmas Eve come along and ever'body stayin' cozy in they houses.  But lo! On Christmas mornin' folk at twenty-five, thirty houses find the most wonderful collection a toys on they front steps.  Santa done come, and no one saw hit happen.  Well, there was some talk around town.  But when the same thing happen again the next Christmas Eve, people really start to wonder who is blessin' them thisa way.  It is fine for the kids to believe it is Santa, but we know better.

So on the next 24th a December, three, four a the guys make it up amongst theyselves to find out once and for all who the Secret Santa is.  By postin' theyselves around town, keepin' a low profile, so to speak, Frank Chambers, you know Frank, has the weldin' shop back a the school?  Frank finely 'bout 'leven o'clock spot Santa at work down on South 4th Street.  Busted!  Hit were Milford.  Now whilst Mil was makin' his own livin' sortin' and sellin' rags and metal and all sort a junk, he was collectin' toys and takin' 'em home where he spend his evenin's repairin' and paintin' and makin' those toys just like new!  And on Christmas Eve he was brightenin' the lives of a whole passel a kids who he know warn't likely to get much fer Christmas.

© 2013 David W. Lacy


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing




The writer of this beautiful Christmas hymn, Charles Wesley, was featured on STSTT a year ago.   You will find a bit about his life by following the link.



I was privileged to attend the wedding of son Douglas and Joanie several years ago in Christ Church, St. Simons Island.  This church commemorates the work of Charles Wesley and his brother, John. You may read more about this church here.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Firsts and Last

Image:  Wikipedia

December 17, 1903  Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Kitty Hawk, NC
December 17, 1955  David and Frieda, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
December 17, 1969  Air Force closes “Project Blue Book.” We are alone or we are not.
December 17, 2013  110 years since “First Flight.” 
    58 years since I first joined the ranks of married folk. 
    44 years since we have given any official attention to UFOs.
    But you can always watch the History Channel!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Where are Ted and Ralph?

Let's get the answer to the question out of the way.  They are doubtless in the Hereafter.  The question remaining is this:  Did they arrive there on December 16, 1937, or did they meet their demise at some later date?

This is certain.  Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe, convicted bank robbers, shattered the illusion that escape from Alcatraz was impossible, for on that December day in 1937 they did escape the confines of that fortress.  Whether or not escape and survival to live another day is possible is still debated, though there were fourteen escape attempts involving thirty-six prisoners. 

Officially both men are presumed to have died in their attempt to defeat the waters separating them from the mainland.  Unofficially many supposed sightings and encounters with the men have been recorded and investigated.   In either event, both were born well over a century ago. so we may safely assume that society is free of any threat from either of them at this late date.  Three others in addition to Roe and Cole have been presumed drowned in escape attempts.

Sources: alcatrazhistory.com 
               wikipedia

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Is the relationship based on love, or is it based on symbiosis?  Referring here to all sorts of relationships, husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend.

What did you ever do for me?
Well, I raised you, fed you, clothed you.  I supported your college education.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?
I bailed you out of an awkward financial situation last week, and took care of your children while you dealt with the matter.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?

It is not enough that you have done infinitely much for me in the past; that is history.  What have you done for me lately?
This relationship is based on symbiosis.  The "child" is in it for what she can get out of it; the parent is in it for the eternal hope of appreciation.

This is not working.

I suspect that too often we attempt to maintain the same kind of relationship with Jesus.

What have you ever done for me, Lord?
I gave my life to atone for your sins, that you might have eternal life.
That's ancient history.  What have you done for me lately?

That relationship is not working, either.

And that is not the fault of the Savior.

I wrote this little piece two or three months ago, then parked it over on my private blog.  I feel now is the time to place it here.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wonderland

 Looking out the window.

Front yard.

 Birch tree.

 Apple tree.

  Catalpa trees.
Why? Why aren't we in Texas?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Zip!


My jacket has a zipper,
it's slick as it can be.
Closing it keeps me comfy
in the winter-time, you see.

But darn!  I can't work my zipper.
Oh, snap!








Herewith we have illustrated the zipper tale with a photo of a portion of my favorite winter jacket, down-filled, cozy and defiant of winter's windy blasts.  The jacket is replete with many zippers, each functioning to keep the occupant warm, or the owner's possessions safe.

The "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure" was conceived by Elias Howe of sewing machine inventing fame in 1851.  He didn't do anything much with his idea.  But along came Whitcomb Judson who improved on the idea and patented his "Clasp Locker" in 1893.  He marketed the product, but with small success.

Then along came Gideon Sundback who went to work for Judson's company and who in 1917 patented the closure in form much as we know it today.  It was first dubbed "Zipper," though, by the B.F. Goodrich Company which utilized it as closure for galoshes.  For a long time, the zipper's primary use was for footwear and tobacco pouches.  It was not until the late thirties that fashion designers finally caught on.1

Thus with this introduction, we are ready to return to the bit of doggerel with which the piece opened.  As a boy, of course, I buttoned my fly much in the same manner as I buttoned my shirt, teaching my little fingers the intricacies of grasping the placket and twisting the button carefully as I guided it through the buttonhole.  I am sure you can imagine the elation I experienced when I finally got trousers with a zipper!2  This started a life-long appreciation for this type closure, and I became quite adept not only at using them myself, but at assisting tiny tots (being a father and an elementary school teacher), and at unclogging and repairing the things.

Of course, therefore, I am stunned and saddened, nay, amazed and angry, to find that I can no longer work the zippers on my jackets.  And the fly is becoming a hassle as well.  Had you encountered the little me seventy-five years ago and noted that my fly was open, you could pretty much be assured that the boy was in too much of a hurry to complete the job properly.  Should you encounter a doddering old man shuffling along with his habiliments in a state of disarray, be considerate.  Life is not a bowl of cherries, and zipping is not always an easy glide.3

1 info gleaned from about.com
2 Some people still pay extra to get the old-fashioned button flies.  Well, different strokes.
3The zipper difficulty I have is basically with my winter jackets.  The memory difficulty I have basically applies to everything.  Oh, dear.  This is Friday the Thirteenth.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Trouble in Paradise

Did I tell you about the time Mack joined the Marines? Mack was plum sick and tired of that passel of kids runnin' around the house, and his Ma just never seemed to have enough of 'em, good Lord. There warn't nothin' to do around here fer him to earn his way, and he warn't gonna be no farmer. Enough generations of farmin' in the fambly past. Not for him, nosiree. So Mack went all the way up to Pueblo to enroll in the military. Got in, too, and they sent him off to somewheres back east for basic. Parris Island, I think it was. And then, you know what the Marines always say, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.” Well, shore 'nuf 'bout this time there's trouble a brewin' in Nickerocka, or sommers like that. So off they ship Mack, to fight his country's battles, on the land or on the sea.

Well, they all get down there, Mack's unit, I mean. They sittin' around down there on they hindsides three, four months, daydreamin' and wooshin' they was some action. So anyways, or at least so he tol' it, one Sattidy Mack sittin' around thinkin' about Nancy Woodson, you recollect Nancy; she was from over to Walsh, she was. Her Dad was Ned Woodson, big man, own most of Baca County and serve in the legislature up to Denver several years. So Mack mought dream, if he like, but Nancy later married Jason Sloan. You recollect the Sloans, but that's fodder fer a different mill.

So ol' Mack got so itchy he get a pass and go into Manakwa, or whatever that big town down in that godforsaken place is called. Found a cute little trick, too, so to speak. Seems she give him a good time and a whole lot more than he bargained for, 'cause when he got home a bit later, he bring company with him.

 Mack's older brother, Wayne, you know Wayne, he was purty wise to the ways a the world. Married now and settled down, had a good job, two kids already an' 'nother on the way. Wayne married Marcella Sims from over to Wichita, and Wayne had met her over there one time when the company send him down there to fix a problem the locals couldn't seem to handle. Anyways, there's another tale for another time. Wayne, all confidential-like, and the lovin' brother that he was, tole Mack about the ol' match-'n-icepick cure for what ailed him. Mack was not amused, ya mought say. So anyhow, he went on over to Doc Barrett, all red-faced and stammerin.' Doc give him some stinky salve and some harsh directions. Upbraided him too, and foreswore him to walk the straight and narrow henceforth and forevermore. Hit took care of him right good.

So then after a good while, Mack married Nadine Winters, though she never held no truck with Mack's people. Couldn't abide thet fambly, and how she ever fell in with Mack, I got no idee. So I guess she wheedled and cajoled Mack to get out of the Plains until they up and moved plum out to San Francisco. Fambly later heard Mack had a good job in the shipyards, but they never heard it from Mack or Nadie.

© 2013 David W. Lacy


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Eating Out


In the restaurant this evening I observed the two booths to my right and across the aisle.  During the time of such observation, each blue person made two trips to the buffet.  Each pink person sat eyes attentively glued to the owners' respective cell phones.

These folks were not kids.  The couple in the near-booth were sixtyish; the other couple probably mid-thirties.

I take my entertainment where I find it.  Bwahaha!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Looking Good

While I was not watching Sunday Morning, I was in the other room attending to a minor task which allowed me to listen to the program with one ear, and the requisite half-mind it takes to follow tv programming.

The segment was about someone named Ethan Hawke whom the interviewer referred to as "the face of Generation X."  The first thing that caught my ear was Mr. Hawke's statement to the effect that when one was shooting pool, for instance, the important thing is not to make the shot, but to look good while making the effort.

Yes.  Characterization of Generation X.  The accomplishment, or failure to accomplish, is not important so long as one looks good in the endeavor.  Form over substance.

The subject capped the interview with a summary of his philosophy.  Succinctly stated, he said that if one pursues his art with dedication it is all good, whether or not the efforts culminate in achievement.

Draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Annual Reminder Rerun

This post from a previous year is offered again because I  believe that those who forget the lessons of the  past are doomed to repeat the mistakes that lead to disaster.  

Each year on this date I post a reminder of a very significant and sobering event in our history.  Because this particular item from three years ago expresses exactly why I do this, I am re-posting today.



On this day I reflect that I was seven years of age when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. I remember people discussing this horrible event. Of course over the years I learned a great deal more about it. My point regarding this personal observation is this. Most people younger than I have no personal memory of Pearl Harbor, and a very high percentage of people today are younger than I. So if the memory is to be kept alive, it must be inculcated into the minds of the coming generations.

Collectively, we forget at the peril of freedom and the life of the nation.

USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, HI. Directly behind is USS Missouri and to the left, USS Peleliu. I have had the sobering experience of visiting the Memorial, and at an earlier date I was privileged to board the Missouri when she was in Bremerton before she was recommissioned.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ford V-8

Did I ever tell you about the time Clyde Barrow tuk Gene's car?  (Yes, Uncle Jep, I thought, you have told me at least a dozen times.  But I said nothing.)  Well, Gene, he was workin' over to Syracuse at the bakery, you know, in '32, I think it was, and him and Raejean had just had their first kid.  Girl, she was.  Can't recollect right now whut they called her, but I'll think of it dreckly.  So anyways, Gene was doin' well for hard times, and he had just traded his A Model Ford for a nearly-new V-8.  Charles Simmons from over to Granada had bought it, spankin' new and the first year Ford sell a eight cylinder.  Well, crunch time come for ol' Simmons sooner'n he expected when his wife fall ill, and he need doctors and medicines and such more'n he need a new car.

So Gene has this ol' Model A and some cash whut he and Raejean have jarred away in a hidey-hole an' he takes and swap the A for the V-8, give Simmons some boot.  Long, hard time for Simmons and the Missus, but as it turns out, after a long while, she gets well, and they move off to Cally-forney along of the Palmers.  Well, hit was a hot July mornin', fifth or sixth, I think, 'cause we had just done with the Fourth.  Gene was in his new Ford toolin' along to the bakery in Syracuse when he sees the headlights of a car comin' up ahind him.  Hit purty rare he see another car on the road at this unearthly hour, seein's how he had to be to work by 3:30 in the mornin'.  Well, thet car come right up ahind, but hit never offer to pass.

Gene get to Syracuse and pull the car up in front the bakery, and th'other car come right up and stop in backa him.  People start spillin' out that car, an ever' one an 'em had a gun and two an 'em had, you know, like duffel bags.  They come right up as Gene was a gettin' out his car and this first guy says, "We need your car."  Well, easy to see Gene ain't arguin' with no one.  "How's it fixed for gas?" the guy asks.  "Filled it in Holly yestiddy," says Gene.  So two a the women get in front and two guys and another woman get in the back.  Then Clyde says, Gene know by now it was Clyde Barrow, "You get in there, too."  So Gene clumb in, his heart tearin' out for Toledo, he was that skeered.  Well, four in back were a crowd, but Clyde slam the door and get in the driver's seat, put 'er in gear, and tear out on down the road.

They gone maybe six, eight mile when Gene get gumption enough to say, "Say, you don't need me.  Cain't ya just let me out?"  Clyde says, "Shut up.  She ain't shot no one yet today," indicatin' the woman aside him.  Gene know now that it is Bonnie, I mean ever' newspaper in the land has been runnin' they pitchers fer months.  Gene think she don't look too well, though, but he ain't taken no chances, so he shut up.

These people talkin' amongst theyselves just lak Gene ain't even there; and that worry Gene some, 'cause they were talkin' about they plans, how they driven all the way from Pueblo and will need to stop somewhere to replenish they supplies, so to speak, afore they get to Denison.  Gene figure now they can't well leave him a witness and he like to have never been more afeered for his life.  Nor never since, neither.  Anyway, Gene tryin' to calm his mind figgers out that the one they call Buck is with Blanche, they are a couple.  Then the girl called Billie who seems the most nervous of the bunch is with W.D.  And a course, Bonnie and Clyde are the infamous Bonnie and Clyde.

Well, they get to Lakin, pass on through, and drive on.  After maybe ten miles or so, somewhere atween Lakin and Garden, Clyde pulls over and stops the car.  He steps out, opens the rear door, tells Gene to get out.  At this point, right here, right now, Gene thinks, I am dead.  So he gets out.

Clyde says, "You got any money?"  Gene stammers, "Jes', jes' only a dollar and a quarter."  So then Clyde reach in his pocket, pulls out a wad and peels off a five-dollar bill.  "Here," he growls, "mought could he'p you get back home; and don't you be talkin' to no coppers about us, hear?"  He gets back in the car, peels rubber as he accelerates.  "Man, what a car!"  Gene thinks, "And she ain't mine no more."


Gene were wrong, though.  That car was later found abandoned in Buffalo, Oklahoma and Gene finely got 'er back.  Ava, hit was.  Gene and Raejean named they daughter Ava.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Three Weeks from Today, Folks

 We attended the Tuesday evening get-together with friends.  Our restaurant of choice is always the same.  And why not?  On Tuesdays all citizens of a certain age are treated to one-third off the menu price of all items thereon displayed.  Typically, while one of us is engaged with the hostess in securing seating, the other checks out the buffet.  Then at table,

"What's on the buffet tonight?"
"Same old, same old."

When we are all present and accounted for, the waitress takes our orders.  She has already placed our drinks in front of us, because she knows exactly that it will be two waters with lemon, a lemonade, and an iced tea.


 There was something new though, but not on the buffet.  The Christmas tree is up!  Shortly before we were finished with our meal and the conversation, Mike and Sally, co-workers of mine in a life long ago, entered and were seated at the table next.  Greetings, pleasantries and a bit of chit-chat.  Then as we were rising from table ready to depart, BBBH said to Sally, "Shopping done yet?"  The look on Sally's face was precious.  You have heard the expression, "Her jaw dropped."  Truth.  Sally's jaw literally dropped.

So I sweetened it a bit by saying, "Such a short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Can you believe it is only 21 days until Christmas?"

Sally retorted, "I have no idea who was responsible for making that arrangement, but I can tell you one thing.  It was a man."


 We took our leave, and thought to drive through the park to check on the state of Christmas decor there.  We saw these, among many other displays.

 The secular

and the religious symbols of Christmas peacefully co-existing.

Very nice.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Transistor Sister

Had a flashback, a memory of my little sister when she was perhaps twelve years of age.  So I wrote a little note to her.

Dear Ilene,
Having the MusicChoice tuned to classic country, as is my wont, the play cycle brought around Charly McClain’s “She’s Got a Radio Heart.”  And somehow whenever I hear this song, I picture you as a child on South Hackley Street.  It seems to me that at some point in your life you won a “transistor radio” from a local station.  Is this not true? Or is my memory really as faulty as I sometimes fear?  These thoughts, of course, led me through the technological progress of the dissemination of music to the young set of the distaff gender.  The transistor started it all, and it paralleled the “45” in the bedroom.  So time passes, and we have the tape players, and the accompanying “boom boxes” which were truly too bulky and unwieldy for the girls, so soon enough we saw the young males (gasp!) toting them around.
These soon enough, or at least eventually, gave way to the digital reproduction of music and miniaturization.  Voila! the MP3 and its ilk overtook us.  Or took us over.  And now.  And now we have the ubiquitous bastardization of all communications technologies, the “smart phone” with which not only is every young girl equipped, but with which everyone is equipped.  Except me, of course.
So did I dream this? I do know that I just woke up from a dozing eye-closed state.
It’s a noisy world!
Love you,
David

Thinking about this a bit more, I seem to recall that the "project" which won her the radio was to count the number of times the letter "e" appeared in a certain section of the local newspaper.  But again, a long time ago, in a land far away.

Ilene with her newest grandchild, and first granddaughter. ------>

Shortly after posting this, I received this response which indicates that my memory was only half faulty:

I did indeed win a transistor radio for writing Sunshine Bakers as many times as possible on a postcard.  I think the grand prize was something bigger, a record player or some such. But I won the radio with Dad's help. We worked hard on that post card, using a magnifying glass and sharpening the pencil over and over.  I have progressed through the various technological cycles and now have a smart phone. I like it almost as much as did my transistor, but the sentiment is not there. Ah sweet memories!
Much Love,

Ilene  


Monday, December 2, 2013

Wilbur Visits Wiener

Our Wiener had a visitor during our Thanksgiving party yesterday.  This is Wilbur.  Wilbur is a former cage-mate of Wiener.  They enjoyed the visit with each other.

Wilbur is camera shy.  When he sees someone pick up a camera, he will hide behind someone or something.  So I consider it a coup that I was able to steal these images of him.



The people?  Oh, the people.  We had nine guests, so eleven for dinner.  And there were two more dogs as well.  Fun times.

Yes, Wilbur is a dachshund, silky hair and all.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Keep on Turning

“Consider the blinded beast that turns the wheel of the mill, which though it sees not, neither knows what it does, yet does a great work in grinding the corn, and although the mule does not taste of the flour, yet its Master receives the fruit, and many people benefit from the mule’s trudging labor."  --Miguel de Molinos, 1575

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nesco Roaster

We were guests at a welcoming home on Thanksgiving Day, but Sunday will see Thanksgiving guests in our home.  So Friday morning I went to the barn and got the Nesco roaster.  I brought it in, polished it, and set it up, ready to receive the turkey.

I mentioned to BBBH that the appliance was vintage 1949.  She seemed a bit incredulous, so I typed "1949 nesco roaster" into the search engine, and behold!

Our roaster is identical to the one pictured, sans cabinet, which was an optional extra.  It is being pressed into its sixty-fifth year of service in giving Thanksgiving the bird.

If you bigify the picture, you may see that the National Enamel and Stamping Company asserts that this is their Golden Jubilee edition of the roaster.  Think about that.  These things have evidently been around since Eve was fixing dinner for Adam and Cain.  Excellent appliance, well-made, and still cooking!










Our roaster.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving in the Bowl

Did I tell you about the time we had but one bird and thirty-five people for Thanksgiving?  Well, your Aunt Grace decide we gonna be thankful whether we had anythin' or not.  She didn't miss hardly a fambly member, sayin' to 'em all, "We gonna have Thanksgiving over to our place this year.  Jep and me has been blessed, and we'd be disappointed you didn't join us."  Now in the manner of the times, I guess we had been blessed.  We was still alive, and we managed to scrape somethin' together each day to keep our souls connected to the bodies.

It was Dust Bowl days, doncha know, and nobody had much a nothin'.  We was much better off 'n many around us, 'cause we had saved a little coin which I had failed to put in the bank back in '29.  Always was a bit leery them suited guys with they green visors.  So anyway, we weren't total broke, and I gone up to Canon where I was able to get a few things, couple hunnert weight a cracked corn, hunnert pound a cornmeal, pinto beans, enough for the whole town.  So it looked like beans and cornbread for some time to come.  I'ma thinkin' you was maybe three, four years old at the time, 'cause your Mama and Daddy come on down for Thanksgivin'.

Anyways, when I left Canon to come on home, I stopped by Arly's over to Florence and wha'd'ye reckon?  Ol' Arly had hisself half-dozen turkeys he'd been nursin' along.  Scrawny they was, too, eatin' what they could scratch up.  Arly give me one a them birds, insisted I have it, so I tuk hit.  Well, I bring that bird home, and glory be! I have all that cracked corn and two months 'til Thanksgiving.  Well, son, I kept that bird pretty close, pen him up in the ol' tool shed.  Yessir.  Fed him good and give him more water than I tuk myself.  Well, talk about surprises!  When people start gatherin' in our house on that Thursday mornin', the aroma like to knock 'em down, hit smell so great.  Some a the fambly had had little enough, and then some, when it come to meat in Lord only knows when.

Well, your Aunt Grace had kept the winders sheeted over purty good, and the sugar and flour were kept wrapped tightly and inside half-gallon Mason jars.  Couldn't set out a sugar bowl, nor even keep it in a cabinet, 'cause even with a lid on hit, the dust would just natural get inside.  Gritty sugar ain't fit'n to use.  So Grace had been bustlin' around two days gettin' fixed for dinner on Thanksgivin'.  Now she only invited people to come, she never ask them to bring anything, but they all come with they hands full, and those ladies were bringin' the best they had.  Why Marcella Dean, you know Marcella, her'n Larry brought they six kids along, but Marcella make the best "apple" pie you can imagine from nothin' more'n pie crust, sody crackers, and vinegar and sugar.  I don't rightly know how she done it.

Anyway, the feast was on, and Grace would have it no other way but that she would make a little speech afore we et.  And she lay it on.  She said as how times had been bad for a long time, and some folk was gettin' discouraged.  Why the whole Palmer tribe, she says, done lit out for Cally-forny, and if we was all givin' up, wouldn't be nothin' here no more but tumble-down shacks and rattlesnakes.  And wouldn't you know, like right on cue in a stage play or somethin', Fred Baker speaks up and says, "Let the snakes have 'er.  She ain't no good no more no how."

And Grace let him have it.  "That," she says, "is just what I'ma talkin' 'bout.  This is Thanksgivin', and y'all need to be thankful.  Be thankful that we are still a makin' it.  Be thankful that we have loved ones who care about us and would give the shirt off'n they back to he'p ary one of us.  Y'all buckle in, keep the faith, he'p one another and pray, I mean pray like you believe the promises of God, and pray some more, day and night.  We will be okay.  Now Darryl, please to offer thanks to the Good Lord over these vittles, and we'll tuck into 'em!"

So right then and there the prayer meetin' start, but hit warn't so drawed out thet the food get cold!  No sir, we done justice to that spread, let me tell you.  And that bird with the fixin's fed them thirty-five people plum easy.  And the prayin' continue, and behole, the very next Fall the drought breaks and the rains come.  And then, well we are still here, hain't we?

© 2013 David W. Lacy


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Be Ye Thankful

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US of A.  Now, everyday should be a day of thanksgiving, for scripture tells us,

" In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Yet it is meet and right that we have set aside a specific Day of Thanksgiving, for it is a reminder to us that we should live with an attitude of thanksgiving.

And besides, there is football!

Happy Thanksgiving.  May all your days be richly blessed!




And do stop by here again on Thanksgiving Day.  I have a feeling Uncle Jep is fixin' to spin us a yarn of Thanksgiving on the High Plains.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Geosynchronous Orbit

twinkle, twinkle in the sky
22000 miles from my eye
pretty lights of red and green
from my front door can be seen
on a night so cold and clear
satellite, why are you here?
so your xm won’t fade away
as you listen all the day

and night.

Through the eye of the point-and-shoot camera.

 Blowup shows colors of the lights.

How difficult is it to hold the camera still at 26x?
I need a tripod.  And a more sophisticated camera.

This geosynchronous satellite is visible from our front door whenever the night sky is clear.  To the naked eye its position varies very little from night to night.  I believe this particular object is situated at 85.0 degrees west longitude. For a scientific explanation of this, you will need to look elsewhere.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 24

I did not know her as a girl, but Ellie gave me the last seventeen years of her life as my wife, my friend, my companion.


She departed this Earthly life fifteen years ago today.












Ellie

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Guess Who?

What very powerful man, third largest property owner in New York City, being imprisoned, escaped and worked as a common seaman on a Spanish ship?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Courtship in the Valley

Did I tell you about the time Milo Cain come over from Rocky Ford to court your Cousin Jean? Well, it were melon harvest 'n Milo come on down with a load a them melons in his ol' Dodge truck.  Now, he was hopin' to peddle them thangs along the way, an' he got all the way to Lamar, an' there he struck out-- couldn't get shed a more'n half 'n 'em.  So he drove on over here with a gob lot a them left in the truck. Milo tried to get Tom Rankin to take 'em off his hands.  Tom tuk but a dozen, so then Milo hit up Slocum over to the hardware, and Fred says, "Sure.  Stack 'em up right there in front a the store and put a 'Free' sign on 'em."

Well, if'n he were gonna have the truck free to gallivant around in, I mean he was hopin' to take Jean to Syracuse for a show, and well, you know.  So he stacked 'em and give 'em away.  And Rankin were some mad.  I mean he had a whole four bits in the dozen he got, and now they's worthless.  Now Tom weren't one to let someone beat him outa hard cash and get away with it.  He'd think a somethin'.

Anyways, the Fates or whatsoever is in charge a Tom Rankin's fortunes was smilin', snickerin' prolly, 'cause who should blow into town while ol' Milo was a washin' and cleanin' of his truck but Theodore Larkin from back home.  Now, it was knowed far and wide that Theodore was a "catch" but so far no one had catch him.  And where should he park that Lincoln V-12 but smack afront a Tom's store.  Well, Teddy Boy strolled in the front door, give the bell hangin' atop it a extry jingle, and with that big ol' grin he most allus wore says, "Oh, Tommy Boy, guess who's gracin' this burg and this lowly den of commerce with his stellar presence?  Why, indeedy, it is I, Theodore James Larkin, just in from the glorious Cumberlands, and here to dazzle this village for, oh, who knows how long?"

Tom mought not a been thrilled with Ted's advertisin' a hisself, but he instantly see a opportunity.  He sidles over to that handsome lad, slips a arm 'round his shoulder and says, "You are a sight for sore eyes!  Hey, Teddy, old pal, do you recollect that Jean Larson, come up from the Clinch?  Why, she's a beauty if'n I ever see one, an' she is to home right this instant.  Lonely?  I reckon yearnin' is whut she is."

So Milo's truck was all shiny and clean with no place to go.  'Ceptin' home.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Boy's Life in the Palace

David SM Maggiore.jpgIn 2 Samuel chapter three and continued in chapter five, we find a listing of the names of the sons of David.  The count runs to seventeen, not counting children by concubines to whom he was not married. The last name on the list is Eliphalet.  Perhaps David knew at the birth of this child that it would be his last, and thus the name which means “God delivers me”  takes on meaning.  I would have been relieved, too, to see the last of a string of offspring such as that. Other than his place in this list, which also appears in the Chronicles, there is no scriptural mention of Eliphalet.

Picture this.  The child, say four years of age, is wandering around the palace attempting to entertain himself when he turns quickly and runs into the hall leading to the throne room.  And wham! He runs smack into the knees of his regal parent who is headed to a conference with his ministers and generals.  The King grasps the boy by the shoulders and says, “Whose little rugger are you?”
“I am the King’s son, Sire.”
“Oh, really.  I lose track.  What is your name?”
“Eliphalet, by your leave, Sire.”
“Oh.  Oh-ho!  Run along then.  Daddy has things to do.”

So it is that the child runs to his mother’s oda and excitedly bursts into the room.  “Mama,” he cries, “I just talked to Abba in the great hall!”
“And did he talk to you?” his mother enquired.
“Oh, yes, Mama.  He asked me my name!”
“Very well, then, Eliph.  You should go at once to your chamber and record this on your calendar, for it is indeed a memorable day, and very likely the last time your father shall ever speak to you.”

Stature of King David by Nicholas Cordier

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Beauty of Autumn

I've not done much by way of fall pictures this year.  Haven't taken many for some reason, and have posted even fewer.  On this particular autumn afternoon I was at the end of our street, some 400 yards north of the house.  There is a ditch at the edge of the road debouching into a nearby creek.  The little woods is not deep, but it is interesting.  The railroad track is just beyond the woods.



I snapped these two shots from the same spot using a slightly different angle for each.  I took only these two because someone coming up behind me seemed to be hoping I would get out of the road.  So I did.  Yet I am rather pleased with these pictures, so I am sharing them with you.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Preacher Mama

Did I tell you about the time your Mama hold a revival meetin' over to Haswell?  Oh, yes, she tol' you about it, but I hain't.  This was afore your Mama met your Daddy.  So anyways, your Mama and her sister Min go over to Haswell to sing and play the music for Preacher Cubbins whilst he's preachin' the salvation message to them heatherns over there.  So Min borry they brother's ol' Essex and drives 'em on over to Haswell.

Now Lars Banks has a farm, sorry place it were, too, just th'other side a town.  Scarce a jackrabbit could make a livin' there, but people done it.  Miz Banks, that's Eula Banks, was no doubt the kindest Christian lady whut ever walk God's green earth, Miz Banks had that whole gospel crew over to her house, bedded 'em down, fed 'em three squares a day, she did.  Eula grow up in Missoura, you know, lived over to Laquey.  Her ma and pa come on over here with her when she was prolly twelve, thirteen.  Ol' Lars, he 'lowed as how he had need to be off to the mountains, up above Cotopaxi, or somewheres like that, on account it was the openin' a deer season.  He'd a had a good reason to be scarce around Haswell during these doin's no matter the time a year.  Leastways, I think so.

So one mornin' at the breakfast table, Min an' your Ma, Esther and Max Cubbins 'round the table and Miz Banks bustlin' 'round, pilin' on the hotcakes and keepin' the eggs and bacon comin', and Max, he's the preacher, ya know, up and says, "Esther 'n me got to get on down the road now.  We been here long's we kin stay. The Lord has released me from this charge."

 "Well, whut about the meetin'?" Miz Banks says.

 "I guess it would be over," says the preacher, "less'n these fine young ladies here would stay and keer on."

"Well," says Min, "As for me, I've had quite enough of this desolate place, and we have striv mightily to bring God to these people, and I think the Lord will excuse me to go on back home now."

And your Mama speak up and say, "The Lord has laid this place heavy on my heart, and I think there is yet someone here who needs to get saved.  I will stay so long as the Lord places a message on my tongue."

And that is how your Mama come to be a preacher.

© 2013 David W. Lacy

The true story on which this fictional account is based was published here two years ago.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's All about the Asterisk

This is the result of a rant I engaged in with respect to disclaimers as used in advertising.  If it turned political, so be it.

We were visiting daughter and son-in-law  I was glancing at a Meijer advertisement, specifically at the "turkey" section.  They were offering some sort of convoluted deal based on size of bird, location of store (maybe), and whether or not Saturn is rising in your sign.  (I made that up; I don't really know what the conditions were, because of the asterisk.  This always leads to a disclaimer, and this was no exception.  I skipped over most of the nonsense, but noted that the last line said something about "see page 8 for further qualifications and conditions.  (I am paraphrasing, but not making it up.)

I went into a rant mode, something to the effect that I could not understand why people couldn't publish a straightforward ad, "Turkey $1.29/lb." or whatever it is that is fair and honest.

Shari said, "You dislike disclaimers?  Here, check this one."  She handed me this:


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tin Cup. This Time, Honest

Saturday we were at camp meeting, ostensibly telling the tale of the tin cup.  Yet the cup appeared only pictorially.

Camp meeting ran for ten full days, actually starting on a Thursday night and ending after the evening service on the second Sunday next.  Plenty of time for prayer, praise, preaching, potatoes, and palaver with many from near and far.

Now our camp meeting typically started in mid-June, running, for example from the sixteenth through the twenty-sixth.  The days were long, without doubt, and could get hot, more than likely.  Thirst, and not speaking here of spiritual thirst, could get intense.  But provisions were made!  On the south side of the kitchen, on the outside wall, was a standard bib, or faucet, which one could turn on to obtain water.  Yet a container for the refreshing elixir was required, so hanging on the bib was a tin cup.  A beautiful, standard tin cup was placed there for the convenience of one and all.

Thirsty, we never gave it a second thought.  One wonders how so many of us survived, even unto old age.  Yet even in that unenlightened (and probably better for it) time, there were one or two who did give it a thought.  I am thinking of Mrs. W, wife of one of the pastors on the district, a lady always dressed just a tiny cut above the run-of-the-mill "outfits" worn by most of the women.  So Mrs. W gets thirsty, as do we all.  She traipses up the walk to the spigot, reaches into her beautiful black calfskin purse and pulls out a ring-like object about two inches in diameter.  She grasps the nether portion of the ring in her left hand, the upper part in her right, and pulls.  Behold! it becomes a drinking cup!  She runs the water, quaffs her refreshment, takes a hankie from the purse and wipes the cup dry, folds it and returns it along with the handkerchief to her purse.  She ambles away.

Three of us kids standing nearby watched this little skit play out.  Just as she was, we hoped, out of earshot, two of us started snickering.  "Some people are too good for their own good," said Wes.  "Yeah," I chimed in, "I hope there was snot on her hankie."  "No, no.  Now stop that," said Andy, who was two years older than we, and therefore presumably wiser in the ways of the world.  "You should be grateful that she was considerate enough not to smear her cooties on our cup."

Gleeful laughter as we all skipped off to see what other wonders might appear to further enhance our day!

.
This was not our tabernacle, but it is a look-alike.

Monday, November 11, 2013

95 Years Ago

Armistice was declared on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the Year of Our Lord, 1918 to effect the cessation of hostilities in the "war to end all wars".

That war, now known as WWI, officially ended the following June upon the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

In 1919, November 11 was declared by President Wilson to be "Armistice Day". It was made a legal holiday by an Act of Congress in 1938. In 1954, the day was declared by an Act of Congress and a Proclamation by President Eisenhower to be "Veterans Day" in honor of all who served in the Armed Forces, since the 'war to end all wars' had failed to accomplish the goal of ending all wars.

The Uniform Holiday Act of 1968 attempted to catch Veterans Day into the "Monday" federal holiday program, and Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25, 1971. It quickly became apparent that the American people would not stand still for this confusing slight to a much respected and honored holiday. Thus, in 1975, President Ford signed an Act of Congress into law which returned the celebration of our Service People to November 11, and since 1978 it has been so observed.

To all who served our country in the Armed Forces, thank you, thank you. Were it not for your sacrifices, we would be enslaved and impoverished. You stood up for us when we needed you.

Please thank a veteran today.

Reworked post from a previous November 11.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Of Its Abundance

Of its abundance the crab apple tree yielded  its sweet flavor 
So that on our toast and waffles this ambrosia we might savor

Thank you, Lord, for this provision.



As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. --Song of Solomon 2:3