Archive for May, 2007

You gotta dance with who brung you

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

You know one thing I miss here in Liberty Hill? The Whittler’s Bench. I think it used to be down town along about where the Fantasia Flower shop is today. I remember going by there and seeing great piles of wood shavings at each of the whittlers’ feet. I think the talking that went on may have piled up higher that the shavings, but you couldn’t see it. I have heard it said a lot of blue smoke was generated in the area. ” But of course where there is smoke there is fire.” “That dog wont hunt.” and of course the classic saying, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” are just a few of the words of wisdom given the light of day around that bench. I liked the pithy thoughts like, “It is hard to fake a shoe shine”, and “Dance with who brung you.” And of course there were the on going stories of local folks, told over and over. They always generated laughter even though all had heard the story many times. The member, or members, discussed in these stories were not present at the telling. This encouraged a full house most of the time. One such story was when D. Willie Vaught asked Joe Spivey , “You know Joe, I don’t think there is as much kissing going on now as there used to be.” Joe shaved a few more curls of cedar wood then replied, “No D., there is same amount going on; it is just other folks doing it.”

Now Troy’s Information Center is a pretty close mimic to the Whittler’s Bench in down town Liberty Hill, but no one whittles there. They do tell some great stories and a few neat thoughts to guide us through the darkest hours. If you are feeling all alone and unloved, just drive by the Center and you are sure to get a big wave and smile. That will just about cure what ails you.

Recently I was offered another job. Now not one to take the job I have, but one to add to the one I wrestle with daily. It was a great compliment to be asked. This new job could very well add to the glory and fame I am now enjoying. The added income would come in handy when I go to pay my taxes or buy crewing gum. What a difficult place I found myself in. All through the night I tossed and turned trying to decide what to do about the new job.
At daylight upon awakening from the few hours of sleep I managed to get, can you guess what popped into my mind? One of those little diddes from the Whittler’s Bench came rushing from nowhere to the fore front of my mind. Just as clear as the ringing of a silver bell the words and music from the long ago forgotten statement; “Dance with who brung you.” There. That is settled. I will find great satisfaction in working and dancing with the folks that brought me this far.

Now, “That dog will hunt.”

Ram in the Thicket

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Remember when you were a kid in Sunday School? All those stories of men and women in the Bible really grabbed us boys imagination. Most of us wanted to play like we were Samson, or Moses or David. There is no telling how many sling shots I made to throw rocks. I remember seeing how far I could get a rock to go. However I never hit a thing I was aiming at. It made me wonder how David was able to overcome Goliath.
We thought how neat it would have been to float down the river in a basket like Moses. One look at my puny arms convinced me I would never be a Samson. Samson was not popular with us boys. He was involved in stuff we did not understand. Like Delilah. Where did she come from? What was she doing in our lives? So we mostly just ignored Samson and worked on getting our muscles to grow big enough to climb a tree and swing across the creek hanging on a rope.

One story really caught my imagination was Abraham and Isaac. The story kinda faded in the mist of time except for God’s voice ringing out to Abraham to hold on! Don’t take Isaac’s life, there is a “Ram in the Thicket”. That picture was so vivid I could even see the bushes of the thicket where the ram was caught and could not escape. A reprieve for Isaac. I think that is what us boys looked for each day in English class, a “Ram in the Thicket”.
But as time so swiftly sped by we grew into teenagers and forgot those heros of the Bible. We went off to school, got a job, or started our own business and families. Our lives were filled with the demands of the days, the weeks and the months. Just making a living was adventure enough to keep us worn to a nub.
In time I had my own business with men working for me and looking for a pay day at the end of each week. One Wednesday about noon I realized we had no more work in the shop. And none was scheduled to come in. Two more days with no income but the need to make the payroll made a cold feeling creep up my back. The phone rang. I grabbed the phone with a plea and prayer in my answering. At that instant a picture flashed into my mind of a story I had heard long ago. A story learned in Sunday School. I fancied I heard God’s voice saying, “Hold on Hollis, here is a ” Ram in the Thicket”. The voice I did hear was a friend in another town needing my help in completing a job for him. Cash money was to be had. Pay roll in hand. We will be there at daylight in the morning.
Since that day, many difficult times have arisen in my life. I get anxious and stressed out like all of us do. Then I remember, the ” Ram in the Thicket”. And it has always been there. I trust you too will find your “Ram in the Thicket” when you have a need.