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

Friday, April 29, 2016

I Tend To Forget How Lucky I Am

 As a boy I didn't realize how lucky I was.  Coming from a cast of six boys, me being the fifth, I was lucky enough to have older brothers who had already grooved a path for me to follow.  They had traveled down the dirt roads and paths along the river banks of the ranch that we lived on.  They had learned the ins and outs of how to find or make "fun" out of the things that were found along the way. Between how to ride a horse bareback while eating a slice of watermelon to milking a cow with a calf trying to steal more then it's portion of its mothers milk.  Learning to become a "boy" was way more easier for me because of their "experiments, experiences and excitement of just being able to have such a amazing environment to grow up in.

If it wasn't for them... I wouldn't have been so lucky..

Later, in High School.  I was lucky enough to have some friends and Teachers who helped me grasp and understand what becoming a young man was all about.  The friends "slowed" me down when I was running to fast trying to become an "young adult".   The Teachers were the ones who realized and took the extra time needed to help me grasp the need for an education when it seemed my head just couldn't hold the concepts in.

 If it wasn't for these.  I wouldn't have been so lucky...

Out of school and on my own, I stumbled and fell twice in two marriages, but was lucky enough to have my family, and new friends, who stood close beside me and helped me back up when I questioned my abilities and my self-worth.  For a while, things just didn't matter very much to me and I swayed more then once down paths that could have destroyed me if not for these people.

Thinking back now I realize that if not for some of them I wouldn't have been so lucky.

Then I joined the Navy and there I learned that I was worth much more then I thought I was worth.  The shipmates, leaders and experiences I went through during that time proved to me that I could be "Good" at something.  I was awarded and recognized for my efforts and I rose up and stood tall again.  I was proud of what I had become and for that time in my life.

 I feel I was very lucky to have given to my country.

Then, I became the Luckiest Person on earth.  I met the "Love of My Life" and she has kept me on track and sane during these years that mean the most to me because she is with me.  Some of you think your lucky and you may be but your not as Lucky as me, because I have her.  

So now.  Thinking back I realized that my Luck cannot be based on what I did, what I have nor what I do.  It's based on what others have done and continue to do for me.

So for those who have been there for me and are still support me and helped me along the way... Thank you for being there, for understanding me and accepting me for what I am...

Johnny.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Ahhhh...To be young again

The other day I was standing on my porch and watched as this young boy traveled back and forth down our street on his small scooter...


 I thought back of the times when the only thing in life that was important was to spend every possible moment of the day enjoying life and having fun. no bills, just thrills, just looking for a new adventure around every corner.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote.. "Youth is the most precious thing in life..To bad it is wasted on the young folks."

I look at it this way. It is not wasted on the young folks.. It only starts when you are young. Being "Youthful" can continue through-out your life if.. you choose to.

Each of us have that right, not allowing time, place nor environment to hold us back from being able to enjoy living.....

Thank you Aunt Edith for reminding me of that.

Johnny

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Yes Lord?

So.... This afternoon, I''m standing in the small shower stall in our bathroom. I had just applied the shampoo (dandruff) and was standing with my eyes closed with my head cocked back letting the warm water fall on my shoulders...

 When Suddenly there is a bright flash of light from above......

After almost jumping out of my skin, I'm thinking.... OK Lord... You've got my attention!!! I stood there with eyes closed waiting for him to tell me that I better start paying more ...attention to others and to behave myself. 
 
Thats when this voice says from just outside the shower curtain instead of over my right shoulder which is where he usually whispers to me from,

'How ya feeling?"

It was my wife Syl who had slipped into the room silently and had cut the overhead light on above me.....being the kind and understanding woman that she is and who was 'JUST CHECKING ON ME....

Gotta Lover Her..
..
But...

I've decided I will talk to her in about 3 days....

Smile....

Good thing I was in the shower....

Johnny

Onward Thru The Fog.....