Friday, June 17, 2016

Wings

Oh.... If only I had wings....
Lift me up, let my fly...
For those who can.....
Who was given the gift....
So envious, am I of you,,,
But, It's obvious that I must wait...
I must bide my time....
That I must learn what it takes.,,,
To be given that right....
Maybe later on....
But.. How I would love to fly....
To rise up above...
Looking down to see all the world from a clear blue sky....
To do loops and turns like I see you do.....
So I'll just have to be happy....
For being given the chance...
To watch you, and be envious of you....
And wait.
Johnny
6/17/2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

So... That's How That's Done


I stood and watched the young man work his way towards me as I stood on the levee at the end of the flooded rice field. He was so into his work that he hadn't noticed me standing there. I watched as he reached for each "mud bug" pot, pulling it out of the water, shaking the leaves loose then dumping it's bounty into a large bucket that lay beside him in the small boat...
What I thought was a radio turned out to be actually him, singing a Cajun Zydeco song at the top of his lungs. The little outboard engine behind him gave him a rhythm to follow and his voice worked with it's beat.
It wasn't until he looked up to prepare for the turn at the end of the row did he see me there. Without missing a chord he smiled and waved to me and while still holding the last pot in that row in the other hand he steered the little boat with his foot pedals to line up for the next row of traps.
The chugging of the motor and his motions never changed as he slipped the empty pot beside the first pot in the new row and scooped up the new one in a single motion. There was a pause in his voice and a new song was started but with just as much gusto and love of singing as the last.
He never looked back at me, just continued on his way... Just as I'm certain his father, grandfather had done over the years probably on this same field. I realized then that there some things that will never change in these peoples way of living. The love of the land, the love of music, and the love of being part of all of it.
Traditions.... That's what makes a Culture, a Lifestyle, a way of enjoying living.
So... I walked away from there saying "So... that's how that's done."
And I learned something new that day or maybe more then one.
You need to learn something new each day... It doesn't have to be Monumental nor World Changing. Sometimes it's something good about our fellow man. Sometimes it's something bad... Just try and take what you've learned and apply it towards trying to make yourself a better man.
Johnny

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Did You Ever Wonder?

Looking back over your life you have made many decisions.
Hopefully, you can be proud of them.
But have you ever wondered what would have happened if you had taken the "another" path?
What would the effect have had on you, if you would have gone the other way?

What about that very first love of you life?
How would life be if you had said, come, together let's go.
Oh my gosh... Was she really as beautiful as you remember her?
Would she still leave you standing with that great big smile like when she first said "hello".

How about when it was time to decide what you were going to do as job?
What if you had chased that childhood dream job that seem so neat?
Would it have kept it's luster and made you dreams come true?
Sometimes, it makes you wonder, do I do what I really want to do?

What about listening and following the advice of others?
Would it have been better to pay closer attention to what they shared with you?
Did they know what they were talking about?
Or were they're words really meant for you?

But there will always be those questions that linger.
What if I had taken the other path?
What if I gone the other way,
Would it made that much difference?
What kind of person would I be today?

All these question are not easy to answer.
Because your decisions could only have been made by one.
They were your choices and you live with them every day.
And hopefully you can say I made good choices, and I'm proud with what I've done.

I am...

Johnny






Sunday, May 22, 2016

Blessed Assurance

I remember....
"Help us to understand" seemed to be what they were saying, these two young ladies as they knelt at the feet and look up to a statue of the Mother Mary which all sit in a small Courtyard up the street from the Children's Hospital in New Orleans.
We were there to have corrective surgery for my daughter Samantha of 16. The surgery had went well and the next morning I felt compelled to take a walk. It led me to this courtyard. Looking at the statues I heard in the back of my head the song of "Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine".
I stopped and sat on a bench and listened as the song sent me it's message. At the end I dropped beside the two young girls and thanked Her for giving us her Son and Him for being there when needed most.
Sometimes... ya just gotta believe.
Lord.... Show me your way....
Johnny

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Man of Many Hats

Looking back over the years I thought about the many jobs that I have been fortunate enough to say "I did that".  

I started young,  following the lead of my older Brother Bud, I fetched coffee and doughnuts for the cattleman at the livestock auction while they sat surveying the livestock in the arena.  I think I was about 5 years old when I took on that endeavor.  I would walk up to them and say "Mr. Brown, you look like you need a cup of coffee!" They would smile and say "You know Johnny, a cup of coffee would taste pretty good right now." In a flash I was across the parking lot to the small cafe, in the backdoor and back to him with the coffee piping hot.  I would usually bring him a donut with a "you looked like you could use a donut too."  Out would come the quarter with a "Thank ya Johnny, ya know you right, coffee isn't good coffee without a donut to go with it."   5 cents for the coffee, 10 cents for the donut, 10 cent tip..."  I would settle up with the cafe owner later at the end of the day...

From there to around 8 years old came selling Christmas Cards in the Fall and Garden and Flower Seeds in the Spring.   Not every boy had his own 410 shotgun at 9 years old nor was there another young man who could blow taps on his very own Bugle each each evening to put the neighborhood to rest for the night. 

During the first few days of summer, it was picking and selling fresh corn on the cob to the people of Austin after putting a ad in the local paper... 4 cents a ear if they picked it, 5 cents a ear if we picked it.  And believe me there were thousands of ears of corn picked by my Brothers and I. 
 
At  14 I was "dipping minnows" for the local fisherman at the little Hog-Eye Bait Shop starting at 5 a.m on the first day that Decker Lake (now known as Walter E. Long Lake) opened and for the next year afterwords.   That 1st day the line of Fisherman was all the way out into the parking lot until about 10 am... 4 minnows, 8 minnows, a dozen, 4 minnow, 8 minnows 2 dozen, 4 minnows, 8 minnows 3 dozen, and I gave ya an extra 4 minnows for good luck I would tell them with a wink .... Good Fishing Sir as I glanced over at my "Tip Jar" and pay the lady at the counter sir" "Well thank ya son, with usually a 25 cent tip.

I made a whole $1.10 cents an hour. plus tips.  Brand new Full Sized 3 speed Schwinn Bike was what I was riding  within the 2nd month of the summer. 

At 16,  I was back to working the "pens" at the same livestock auction on Sunday afternoons and "sliding" out of school early on Mondays to help in those alleyways for the weekly auction.  Helped pay for the 65 VW Bus down payment...   

Over the next 50 some odd years we won't even go into how many hats I have worn. Some I'm very proud of, some... we won't even mention.  But.... even to this day... I look at each job as a challenge. A way to show the world that you can "do it" if you make your mind up that you can...

I've got 4 months until I'm going to step back, relax and let the Social Security Checks start rolling in that I think I pretty well deserve... It may get me a cup of coffee each day down at Starbucks early in the morning where you'll find me, sitting back and enjoying the "good life"..... Maybe...

Could I still deliver a cup of coffee fast? I have no doubt... but now it's my turn.... 

Johnny
5/9/2016







Friday, May 6, 2016

Follow Me


Follow me into the Woods,

Where we can climb, laugh and play

At least in our minds.

Thinking back to childhood days

that have long past....

Come, follow me, 

Come on, let's play. 


Johnny

Monday, May 2, 2016

Save the Un-Contacted/Approachedd Peruvian Tribes

So.... I go to get a cup of coffee at the C.Shop in a Book store while Syl is looking for a book...
The young lady asks: "Would you like to "donate" a pound of coffee to help save the "Un-Contacted/approached" tribes of the Peruvian Jungles?"....
???? I ask "how much?"
"The coffee is $10. per pound."
Smile.. No, but I'll donate a $1.....
"Oh no sir, can't do that, it has to be a pound of coffee.."
So.. "I didn't know that "Un-contacted/approached Peruvian Jungle Natives drank Coffee?
"Well no sir... how it works is you donate a pound of coffee, we then sell it and part of the proceeds are donated to help save the "Un-Contacted/approached Tribes of the Peruvian Jungles." smile...
Hmmmm. "So just how much of it goes to the Tribes and what are they going to do with it since we have not "approached" them?
The young lady looks at the cash register and doesn't answer....
The other lady making my coffee..smiles and say's "$2.....
???????... So wait a minute... I'm going to donate $10. by buying a pound of coffee from you.. you are then going to turn around and sell that same pound of coffee at "regular" price ($10.) and then your going to give $2. towards saving
the "Un-contacted/approached" tribes of the Peruvian Jungles??? Right?
No response... from the 1st salesperson....
Then as I finish paying for my coffee, part of it being the $1. I was going to donate.... Feeling bad. I asked her "Could you break this $5.. bill for me?" so that I could be the Gentleman that I am to leave them a tip?
"Ummm.. no sir.. sorry I" all out of $1's....
So..... I dropped the .34 cents into her tip jar from the change from my coffee....
THIS IS A TRUE STORY.... I cannot give the name of the store being the Gentleman that I am..... But I have no doubt that the BOOK store sells MILLIONS of books...
"Do onto others......"
Johnny