Archive for February, 2007

Thoughts On Brother In Laws

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

You have a brother-in-law? Most of us do. I seem to be blessed with a wide assortment of brother-in-laws. I have rich ones and poor ones. I don’t hear much from the rich but I have a constant contact from the poor. I have tall ones and short ones. Which proves a point that height has no relation to intellect or ability. I have brother-in-laws that are farmers-ranchers, and ones that are bankers-lenders. I kinda stay in touch with the latter. You never know when the day may arrive when you might just find they are the worlds greatest brother-in-law. However the farmer-rancher have more good eats than the others. I have noticed they are the ones who invite us to come have dinner most often. And we go. It makes it a little difficult to reciprocate dinner invites with these guys for we have no fresh beef, pork, beans, or turnips. I usually just grill something and they think it is great. Ever notice, country folk don’t grill? Just isn’t in their make up.
Lets see, I have bald brother-in-laws as well as hairy ones. Not much difference there. The hairy ones take longer getting ready to go some where. The bald ones brag about combing their hair with a wash rag. The bald ones insist grass will not grow on a busy street and the hairy ones suggest that smarts pushes the hair out.
Some brother-in-laws are mean as a skunk and others are nice as little Sunday School choir boys It is not hard to figure which ones are the most fun to be around. The choir boys will not lead you into the path of no return but the skunks are a lot more fun, especially on a fishing trip down on the San Gabriel river. If you can’t catch the cat fish with hook and line a little dynamite tossed into the pool will supply supper with plenty to eat. Now you understand I have only heard about doing that for I have never been involved in such doings.
I counted up the other day and I have had 14 brothers-in-laws. That will pretty well cover the spectrum of folks. Most of them I have had for a long time. Some came a while and then moved on. Almost all of them have been good friends that have not borrowed any money from me nor loaned me any money. There seemed to be plenty of advice of which I can’t remember taking any . Perhaps I should..
I have enjoyed hearing real war stories of landing on the beaches at Normandie and fighting their way to Paris. I have also listened to tales of parlaying ten dollars into a million. I didn’t believe all of this one. But I have also endured many sad tales of failure of which I believed They seem to be evenly distributed in our lives.
This next week I plan to visit one of my favorite Brother-in-laws. He has one thing none of the others have. I bet you don’t know many that have what he has. This brother-in-law has a birthday on the 29th day of February. He will be celebrating his 19th Birthday. Even thought he will be really 76 years old, fate forbade him being able to have all the birthdays normal folks have had. He seems to be just fine. He has plenty of hair, is rather handsome, doesn’t borrow money from me, and tells a pretty good war story. I am going to ask him how it feels to be 19 years old. I have forgotten.

St. Valentine’s Day

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Fifty Six years ago I was in tall cotton. Had a good job making $1.10 an hour, living and eating at home and courting a beautiful young chick that would one day become my bride. Then came a letter, “Greetings, your friends and neighbors………..” Uncle Sam said he needed my help and would I please come. I really had other things in mind. Going off to fight a war in a place I had never heard of, didn’t exactly fit my plans. In fact it did not fit at all. It didn’t take long for Uncle Sam to change my mind. He even sent a Greyhound Bus to pick me up and take me to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. There he tested me over and over till he found what he was looking for. He then issued me a pretty uniform and poor fitting boots. In one fell swoop me and my duffel bag were stuffed on a troop train headed for Ft. Bliss, Texas.
The only thing I could think of was that poor, pretty young thing back home pining her heart away. I had made plans to have a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates delivered to her home. But that seemed little consolation to her for my absence on the 14th of February. The troop train stopped in Ft. Worth for some reason and I sneaked off the train, found Western Union and sent a mushy telegram to my lonely girl. I don’t know if it was the roses, chocolates, or the mushy telegram, but that girl became my bride 56 years ago and is still putting up with me.
You are probably asking yourself why some old man is telling you this story. Hey, son, look up at the masthead. What is the date? Uhhu! February the Fourteenth, St. Valentines day. You just have time to hurry to the store and find some flowers and chocolates but I don’t know where you will find Western Union. May I suggest the Dollar Store? They have candies and cards but no Western Union. I bet Fantasia Flowers are open late today for us a little slow on the uptake. I know I saw heart shaped boxes of chocolates on the shelf at Parker’s . And I bet the other groceries have bright red stuff with ribbons that smell good. One place I have been intending to visit is the Bead Store. I bet they have pretties for sweet young things.
Now you have been encouraged to get with it before it is to late to warm that girls heart. I am going to add, “Get a move on boy, or you will be too late.” And if you are wondering what I wrote on the mushy telegram, I ain’t telling.

Child and Old Man

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007


Child and Old Man sat on the porch in the morning sun. The warm rays filtered down through the oak leaves and painted a streaked pattern on the rough board porch.
Old Man rocked gently in cadence with time as it ticked inexorably on. The sun climbed higher till the pattern of shade moved off the boards of the porch and onto the dirt of the yard.
“Old Man”, Child asked, “Tell me about life.” Old Man stopped rocking. Time stood still as the doors of his mind creaked open and contents dragged into the light for the first time in ages.
Old Man began to speak and rock, and time resumed its march. Child listened, making notes and forming more questions. When Old Man stopped speaking the sun had moved westward and its shadow masterpiece raced eastward across the meadow.
Quiet draped the porch and the yard, the meadow and the world. Finally Child poked a hole in the stillness with the question, “But Old Man what is the most important fact of Life? Old Man replied, “Two things Child, are the only things that really matter in life. The first are Roses, ” the Old Man said. “Roses are like life and love and beauty. Each rose has a thorn to remind us that life must be handled gently, not clutched, or yanked about indiscriminately, ” Old Man stated. “Each rose forms a promising bud, to be nourished and coaxed into full bloom. As the blossom unfolds in all its pristine beauty they make life worthwhile.” Old Man continued, “And even in death the faded petals fall to earth adding nourishment to morrows blossoms.”
Old Man became silent. The shadows began to climb the far mountainside. An orange glow streaked the sky. Child waited. Finally impatience swelled and burst into the question, “But Old Man, what is the second most important fact of life?” Old Man sighed and stated, “The second is a source of warmth from winters chill. A salve for man’s many infirmities and an every ready weapon to fight off life’s invading hosts. The second most important fact of life is Vicks Vaporurb.