Friday, November 27, 2015

Egg Hunting

As a boy on "the ranch" we all pitched in to help around the house.  One of my favorite tasks was to to find eggs from our chickens to help feed the family.  Our hens were not penned. They were free to roam around the area which meant that there was no telling where you may find a nest of eggs.

Behind our house in a large field was the "big house" which had been sitting empty for many years.  On the back porch there was the house's bathroom.  The rooms facilities was simple compared to the contents of the house itself.  I can remember that there was a toilet, a large rug and a bathtub.  The tub was one of those huge claw-footed ones that sat off the floor. It was there that one of ours hens had made a nest and it was in this nest that I could usually expect to find her cache of eggs on a regular basis. 

The nest had been made of the remains of some hay and pieces of a old rotten burlap sack.  I can remember having to "belly up" to the rim of the tub, balance there while plucking the eggs from the nest usually one at a time.  Tip-toe, belly-up, lean forward, balance, reach, pluck, shift weight so my feet would find the ground again, place egg on the rug and return to the tub to continue the "trapeze act" until all but one egg were extracted.  You always left one egg.... Granddaddy taught me that.. Fooled the hen into laying some more eggs he said.

Early one morning I had made my rounds to gather eggs and as always went to check the tub.  Now you also have to understand that this was "the big house" which to a very young boy was a place where you got that uneasy feeling going into it by yourself.  You know what I mean... that little prickly feeling that runs up the back of your neck when a touch of fear found you alone in a place dark and kind of spooky... I always did my duty of getting the eggs but I did it as quick as possible and always found a reason to move a little bit faster when leaving there then it had taken me to approach the room. 

That morning the sun had not yet really "lightened up" the room and so after approaching the house so as to not wake the spirits that I was sure guarded the place I peeked into the tub.  What I thought I saw was only parts of the eggs that appeared to be semi-covered by the old burlap bag.  Not a problem, I can remember thinking and proceeded to my bellying up to the tub's rim procedure. 

It was then, as I was balanced on the edge and starting to reach for the eggs when I noticed that it seemed, that the eggs were moving?  It was also at that time, that the large chicken snake which had found the hens nest and was in the process of enjoying a reward of fresh eggs, raised its head to meet me... 

Now.... picture it,  a small boy, in a dark room, of a "old haunted house" coming face to face with a chicken snake that MUST HAVE BEEN AT LEAST 20 FEET LONG,  at least in the eyes of a 6 year old and me with my feet dangling in the air.

I'm not sure who moved faster, me or the snake... reason? Because the split second it took me to get my feet on the ground, I never looked back.  In fact I don't remember anything that happened until I was starting to slow my running and stop to catch my breath about halfway across the field away from the Big House.

I never went back there to check for eggs again....

I am the egg cooker in my home and embarrassed to must admit. But, very once in a while when reaching for the bowl of eggs, even though they are in the refrigerator... I swear I see something moving......

It is now 55 years or so later and I am sitting, writing about this childhood experience at 5.am. You may wonder why?  Because at 4:30 am I had the same nightmare I have once of twice a year of me falling "into" that tub and battling for my life the 20 Foot Long Chicken Snake.  

Ahhh,,, being raised on a ranch  some of it,  stays with you forever....

Johnny




 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Just a Little Common Sense

There is a reason for carrying a few pennies around with you at all time... They are for a increasing number of our young people of today.

They're for those whom its obvious have no "common sense".

Walk over to them, smile and say.... "Here I would like to give these to you,. Have a nice day". Then smile, turn and walk away... Then when you are at a safe distance turn to see what he is doing. I'll almost guarantee you that 1 of 3 things will happen or maybe 4. 

1. They will be standing there looking back at you with palm open looking at the pennies and then at you.

2. They will be showing them to their friend who is also trying to figure out why you just did that.

3.They will be standing there trying to figure out "What the hell does he think I can buy with 2 cents?"

Or....

4. He is going to calling out to you. " What do I do with these?"

If by chance he does that... Just tell him... Never mind, give them to someone else... Cause its obvious they are not going to help him.

Johnny

End note: If by chance, after reading this and you do not understanding what I'm trying to say...
Never Mind....

A Tap On The Shoulder From My Navigator

The other day I was out with my camera collecting a few shots of the local fauna...  99% of the time I am by myself when on what I call one of my "photo safaris".  I've got a feeling that's because no one would have the patience to travel with ne when I'm "out looking". 

I was standing alone at the edge of a bayou peering into its darkness looking for the holes of light that  penetrates it's canopy.  It is at the edge of those pothole sized pools of light that I find the most interesting subjects to capture on frame.

It was right then, out in the middle of nowhere when I got my "tap on the shoulder"... I didn't have to look around to see who was there. I already knew.  He said.  "I think you want to talk."  I looked down and re-adjusted the settings on my lens as if I didn't feel or hear him...

  "Who do you think your kidding?"  'You called me.. I didn't call you' he whispered into my mind. 

Yea,  I've got some questions that have been bothering me and wondered if you could help out? I muttered as I looked around for a place to sit down and talk.

First... I don't understand why we are out to get each other.  Why do we feel that if a person is not doing what we want or feel how we feel about something, that we have to try and change them?

He answered 'There are those who understand that there are many lifestyles on earth.  Some feel comfortable in allowing each to pick their own.  But there are many others who feel Superior and must demand change. Those are the ones who I am working on... its not a done deal..".

Well how can I best help? I asked.

"By not allowing those who "push" to talk you into going their direction.  You know where you want to go and what you want to do with your life."

But it hurts deep down to see what is happening and not be able to stop it.  I muttered.

"I understand and too feel your pain, but know this" he said.  'With time, all will be taken care of, all will be right and THAT..... you have my word on..."

But... I started to say...

And He stopped me and said "Do You Believe In Me?"

That...  I knew the answer to...

"Then, that's all that matters." as he went his way...  But stop by anytime you want.. I'm always here."

I sat for a couple more minutes looking at all around me that he has given us.... Knowing that if we Believe... that's all that matters.. 

And I called out to him... Thank You Lord... For Everything....

So.. When things are good and running the way you like, I hope you remember who to thank.

But,  f the world seems to be spinning a little fast, take a moment, sit down and call out... He's always there, he's always got a little time to sit and listen..

Johnny
11/25/2016




Thursday, November 19, 2015

I've Been Good....

Several years ago.. I owned a franchise of what I like to call "The Traveling Bookstore".  It was where I set up a display of books at daycares, and pre-schools.  It allowed the parents and others to preview books and order them which I would deliver the following week.  My territory had started in Austin but I expanded it to cover a 9 county area covering most of Central Texas.  What that mean, was that I kind of stretched my self thin especially during the holiday season. 

Of the reasons besides it being a job I enjoyed being around the kids and the people who took care of them.  You never knew what to to expect with kids.. They always kept me laughing and wanting to make them laugh also.

During the winter months I found that the "then popular" nylon warm-up suit with matching stretch pants, shirt and lite jacket fit the bill as a uniform.  I had several and had not thought of how the kids saw me until one day.

I was working my display in the hallway of a very large church nursery.  I was standing, counting my books and tallying the orders when a "duckling" line of little 3 year olds  passed by and worked its way down towards the restrooms. 

After a few seconds or so I realized that they had stopped and I heard the Teacher at the front of the line say "I don't know?  Why don't you go ask him."  Looking around I saw a young man shyly and slowly walking towards me as the entire line stood with their "bubbles in mouths" but wide eyed and watching him make his way to me.  The Teacher was grinning and pointed at the little man as he approached me then put cupped her palm to her ear as if to say "He's going to ask you something".

Now I've been described as a "large/rotund/big/ fellow and it was only when he asked me his question did I realize what he saw standing looking down at him... I was dressed in my Red Satin Warm-up Suit with Black Athletic Shoes, a White Polo Shirt and a Red Mitten Cap. 

He stood at my feet looked up as if finding to hard to talk.  So I said "Can I help you Young Man?"  His question was..

"Excuse me sir.. Which list am I on?.... I've been trying to be good...."

I looked down at him.... knowing that there could be only one answer...

I said with a smile... "Why...  Of Course... I've got you on my GOOD list....

He smiled... thanked me and ran running back to his teacher and classmates screaming "HE SAID I'M ON HIS GOOD LIST!  She looked at me and mouthed "Thank You" to me as he went back to his place in line,

Christmas... has never been the same to me again....  Give to Others..... If nothing else... just a little bit...

Johnny



 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thats Not My Right....

I understand that and
I believe that:

Some Do...
Some Don't....
Some Will...
Some Won't

But..
Some Can?
Some Cannot?

As for me....

I can't see where..
I have that power...
To say who can...
Or Who Cannot...

Because...

If we base our decisions....
Regarding the lives of so many...
On the actions of a few....
Then that makes us no better...
Then... those few...

To throw a blanket over all...
And push them away....
It's not the way we do things...
It's not the way we play....

No one did that to our ancestors
When they first came here....
They were given a chance...
Offered a place to come to...
Without  prosecution or fear....

Some do....
Some don't....
Some will...
Some won't...

Some Can...
Some Cannot...

You can if you want to...
But as for me....
To say No.. Your not allowed here...
To not give someone a chance...

I personally can't tell them that...
To say No... You don't belong here...
Because of a few...

I don't think I have that right....


Johnny





 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Gentle Breeze



Our lives, have become so busy. Over the years, as you grow, you collect daily habitual actions which start to make up your day and before to long your "busy". Busy to the point that we tend to lose the ability to enjoy what is given to us without asking for or working for. The "freebies" of life.

We let these things slip by not realizing that they are what make up so much of the world around us but we don't notice them because we are "busy". I will be the first to admit that there are certain duties, actions and responsibilities that we each should do. But what happens is, that as we are completing these "things" we feel we must take it or make it a little "better". To adapt or tweek the way we do things trying to ensure that we "have done it better then the last time."

But there are things around us each day that are there for just the taking. These I feel are just a few of what we need to slow down and notice.

The sound of children standing, laughing and playing while waiting for the school bus to pick them up...

The first calls of the early birds that are just outside in the tree beside your house. 

To take time to feel the warmth of a soothing shower.

The sun rising, with its promise of a totally new day.

The smell of fresh air before the scents of the working day takes them over.

The buzz of the bees in the flowers outside your window.

Or a gentle breeze... touching you cheek, sweeping quietly by on its way to who knows where. Did it pass by someone else before it got to you... Does it matter? It came and found you for just that second. Yours and yours alone. How soothing, how calming, no purpose behind it nor intention to change your mind nor persuading you to "do something".

These are all things that are there for us to enjoy... They are part of "life" if we will just slow down for a just little bit and let them entertain us... At no cost, no fee, no expectations to get something in return..

The little things in life that we tend to take for granted and overlook even though it would take just a few seconds, maybe a few minutes for ourselves, before we start our "busy" day..

Johnny..

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 5 W's and The "H" Factor....

FLASHBACK to the first days behind 911.... 

France  is trying to pick itself up from last Fridays attacks. Brings back the feelings during the first days after 911 to me. That gut wrenching feeling that no longer were we safe even in our own homes or towns.  Looking over the shoulder,  or up into the sky with apprehensions.  The attention is focused on France right now, which is why I am again looking around wondering the old 5 questions that I learned to ask back in High School Journalism Class, but now with a twist...

Who, What, Where, When, and Why? plus the "H" factor How....

Who? .... Is there anyone that who can be trusted anymore.. I hope so. I hope that we haven't gotten to the point that our trust is lost on everyone out in our public environment... But...

What?  Will we do or can we do to prepare for what may come?

Where?  I'm afraid that question has already been answered.  Anywhere..

When?   Seems, When we least expect it.

Why?  I'm not sure... The people that do these types of devistating acts towards others seem to not need a specific reason for their actions.  Why does a man walk into a movie theatre and take others lives?  Why is a question that I'm afraid is un-answerable.

How?  I think that question is a multi-facited question leading back to the 5 W's. 

But all of these questions, I feel, each of us must be answered with one word. 

 NO. 

No... I'm am not going to allow these actions to stop me from living life to the fullest.

No. I'm not going to let them take over the way I go about my daily life.

No... to those who do these things,

No... You are not going to take control of my world...

Because if we don't shout, NO.  They will win..

But I will be more careful.....

Johnny

Friday, November 13, 2015

Two Texas Sailors

So what happens when two sailors from Austin, Texas meet and find out that their from the same town.  Well you get stories about what each did while they grew up, the friends that are back home, well, you get two crazy Texans who come up with a crazy idea... 

Let's drive home for the weekend!!!

Now... that wouldn't be a big deal if they were close to home but these two sailors happen to be my Best Shipmate David Sweeny and myself and we were stationed onboard the USS Albert David, Fast Frigate 1050.... in..... San Diego, California...

Ahhhh. so just how long would it take 2 Crazy Texas Sailors to drive to Austin, Tx from San Diego. Ca?  Well... with a few pit stops and driver switches,  about 20-23 hours with good roads, good weather and a strong tail-wind.  Hmmm.  that means about 10 hours of driving each without stopping.  Hmmmm..... need more drivers.....

So this is where being a Texan and being able to "Spinning the Yarn" on how great a Night In Austin would be to 2 other innocent, unknowing Shpmates to the point that you convinced them that well.  of course they had to go....

Here is how it went.. Simple... 1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot (shotgun seat, he could drink as we went, A Navigator seated behind the Co-Pilot , he also could drink, from the cooler located between him and the Next Pilot, seated behind the Pilot. The biggest rule... The Next Pilot had to sober up before getting behind the wheel which usually meant "crashing" for about 3 hours prior to driving.

 At the pit stop, Pilot goes to Co-Pilot, Co-Pilot goes to Navigator, Navigator goes to Next Pilot position. Next Pilot grabs the steering wheel for the next 3 hours.

Three hours of driving, pit stop, pilot switch and on we went.. The meals consisted of chips, some type of sweets to keep the sugar level up and some type of bread to soak up all the beer... Ahhh Pizza.

We would all acquire 2 day leave passes... yes only 2.. It was up to you to talk your Division Officer into letting you loose at noon on Friday... If you couldn't do that,  you were not "worthy" of the "experience". 

So off we would go... by 1pm on the road Frin David's 1977 Impala... which fit 4 and one cooler well. 

Rules of the Road were properly followed.. Which were.. Flaps down. Full Throttle, Don't get caught speeding because that would cut into our time-line.  The Navigator's job was to handle the "Radar Detector and man the binoculars while traveling IH 10 through California, Arizona, New Mexico and the seemingly never-ending West Texas....

Did it work?  Lets just say we entered Travis County which is where Austin, Texas is if your not a Texan usually about 1pm Saturday afternoon.  We now had about 5 hours to, visit relatives, shower, shave and 1 hour to pick and get to the first Honky-Tonk by about 7pm to catch the last hour of "Happy Hour." 

Now the clubs in Austin closed at 2 a.m.  which was perfect.. Because that meant 2 Texans and 2 now, Honorary Texans could climb back into a certain 1977 Impala and head west on the 24-26 hour trek back to San Diego, Ca. , a little longer cause we were a kind of worn out, about 4 a.m. approximately 2 hours before Reville on Monday morning.

One backlash that we found out about our Texas Trips... For some reason.. We could NEVER get the same 2 Shipmates to make the "experience" a 2nd time... I guess 1 time was enough.... For Them...

How many times did we make this little trip.  If I remember right we introduce 8 shipmates to Texas over the next 2 years. 

Ahhhhhh Texas... Ya  Gotta Love It....






   

In Memory of David Sweeny... My Shipmate

In Memory of David Sweeny RM2,  R.I.P.

While in the Navy David Sweeny became my Best Shipmate...

Being also from Austin it was inevitable that we cruised, couroused and tore up the West Coast the way only 2 Texas Sailors could... David was down home Texas, his manners and his drawl gave him away. I can remember so many times in the clubs the woman saying "Why... are you from Texas?" and he would produce that little smile, give them a wink, and respond with "Well,,, yes I am Little Lady...... Austin, Texas that is.. Would you like to dance?" and that's all it took..

David was the only man, I can remember, that could and would stand up in the middle of any night club, dancehall or "hole in the wall" after being served a Budweiser Beer, and while holding it high above his head would recite at the top of his voice, the Logo found on the bottle...

"This is the Famous Budweiser Beer. We know of no other brand brewed by any other brewer which cost so much to produce. Our exclusive "Beechwood" aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price. Budweiser... The King of Beers."

Then he would add "Amen" and would take a swig of the beer, turn to the waitress and say " Bring me another darlin. This one will be gone by the time you get back."

David Sweeny,,, the man who had my back no matter the situation...

Miss ya My Friend

Johnny

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why Does Old Age Have To Hurt?

Why is it that the older we get the more we ache?

When we were young our body allowed us to take just about anything life would throw at us.  The bumps, the falls, bounces, collisions and accidents that occurred on a daily basis.  Those little impacts with foreign objects that many times we didn't even realize had happened.  Maybe a day or so later your friend may bring that bruise to your attention with "hey what did you do there?" You would look at it, scan back through your last couple of days activities and reply "hell if I know". After laughing at yourself you would continue on, living life to the fullest.

But when you start to get "older" the human body, somewhere along the way, makes a decision that it is going to let you know of every little accident that you have had and its usually almost immediately.

No longer do you walk around the house "barefooted", I do, but I'm a glutton for pain.  We arm ourselves with house shoes or that old pair of "leathers" that your wife won't let you be seen in public in .  I can remember as a teenager walking everywhere barefoot, except sticker burr fields.  We learn to steer clear of those things that want to jump out and hit you just as you walk by or we slow down and watch where we are going...

Now... our bodies no longer let us get away with what it once did.  It usually reminds you of these little collisions with foreign objects as you sit at night watching your favorite show.  You know what I mean... That little "ache" somewhere in your body, that starts small then slowly builds to the point that you can no longer concentrate on trying to be the first to answer the question before the contestants on your game show.  Been there? You know, when your "better half" says what did he say? and your answer is "I'm not sure, I was thinking about something else"...

So.. you start looking around for the over-the-counter pain relief pills that are usually sitting close by.  Yea, there they are right beside your "night medicine" pills lined up waiting your attention.  Those "fix it all" pills your Doctor prescribed you to allow you to make it through the night or just to get you out of his examination room.

My question is... Why does this all happen when we get "older"?  Have we not been through enough already?  Isn't this suppose to be the part of life when we are to enjoy what we have worked so long for to achieve? 

What I think is what we need is a General Purpose, Old Person Numb Pill. Not anything that will put us off into La La Land or mentally stalls you but one that will allow us to not have to put up or feel the little aches and pains of getting old...  And it needs to be something that you can take about once a year... Maybe on your Birthday,  maybe just put it in your Birthday Cake, you know try to blow out all them Damn Candles and eat your Numbing Pill.

But then again... That's just one of  my crazy ideas....  where's my Motrin?  

Johnny

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pierside Daily Rituals

6 a.m. Reveille, Reveille, the Smoking lamp is lite through out the ship, Now Reveille.

Up to the Head..3 Minute Shower..Quick Shave..Straighten the Gig Line....
Where's My Hat..

.Eggs or a Doughnut..Coffee always...

Quarters....Plan of the Day....Morning Assignments,

Lunch, 1st Class, First In Line...Taste first, then Salt & Pepper because you never know...

Quick Nap... Back to Duties,

 Sweepers,  Sweepers, Man your Brooms... Hey Man, I'll Pay Ya to take my Duty?

Slip off to Change to Civies,  Liberty Call. Couple of Hours at the "E" Club.. Back to the Ship...

Movies on the Mess decks at 2000.. The Roach Coach Approach... Nasty Burrito...

Find a place in front of the T.V.

.Now hear this, Taps, Taps, Lights Out.. The Smoking Lamp is Out throughout the Ship..

Now Taps...






Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tell Me a Story Dad

Tell me a story Dad,
about the times when you were here
Talk about the good times that you remember
the times when we were all together

Share with us how it was back then
when things weren't so easy
Times when life made you work for it and
days when your hands hurt when you got home

I remember some times Dad
seeing you sitting in your easy chair late at night
Your mind still working out problems
to make sure everything would be alright

How you rode a horse
always sitting high in the saddle
becoming one with the animal
and letting it know its worth

The hours you spent on a tractor
turning the soil so it give us what we need
Whether it be hot or cold
You just put your shoulder to the sun or wind and paid them no heed

How you spoke with a kind word
Your voice never quivered nor seemed un-sure
how people looked up to you 
and I know that even now,  they still do

There always seemed to be others
who stopped and listened when you spoke
People whether they knew you well
Or just knew of you by your style of living

To many you were Mr. Fielding
and respectfully addressed that way
A man you could go to if needed
when no one else would be there for them

Your  life wasn't always easy Dad
We threw a lot at you that's for sure
But you always seem to have the answers
If you were ask to help set things right.

A man with so much to do
But the one who always found time if we ask of you
You cared for so many
Always giving, never taking for yourself

From sunup to sunset sometimes
you willing played life's game
living one day at a time until each was complete
trying so hard to make our lives the best they could be

I'm not saying you never gave us time
you tried to as much as you could
and for those times when now I think back
I smile and thank you for what you did.

Six Boys became Men because of you Dad
we share a bond that only you could have put there
Its a feeling of pride and a sense of well being
Knowing that we would not be the men we are

If not for you

So come to me now Dad in my thoughts and dreams
and tell me the stories of your life
I'll sit and listen I promise for the rest of mine
Learning only now,  how important you were and still are to me

I still reach out to you Dad
It may be just a thought
or a memory of something you did
Your still fresh in my mind Dad
and  I promise you will never go away

Johnny
11/7/2015




 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How Dare You Take My Life In Your Hands.



The other day upon returning from Houston I witnessed two large personal passenger trucks play "catch me if you can" on IH 10 close to the Texas./Louisiana Stateline.  They  were weaving back and forth across lanes at speeds that must have been well over 90 MPH.  Add to the fact that it was raining and a semi-heavy level of traffic. 

Other people were re-acting to their "game" by hitting their brakes, weaving into other lanes or dropping their speed suddenly so as to miss being hit by these "children" on the road. 

Then it happened, suddenly where they had gotten to ahead of me,  one car swerved to avoid collision with one of the trucks which had cut them off the driver drove into the side of another innocent driver starting a 4 car accident. 

The two "children" in the trucks continued on their way. 

So... My question is How Dare You?

I see it everyday... People who have no remorse in endangering others on our streets and highways.  Leaving others motorist to fend for themselves against their in-mature acts of driving.  The results of their actions can have such a devastating effect on others around them and they seemed not to care.  I am not saying to ever try and stop or confront these "brats" but if by chance you get ever a partial plate number call the police on them.

 Or... in many cases they drive the same roads each day playing their threatening games.  If you notice them more then once, there is a good chance it happens everyday.  Call the police and let them know that they have been observed by you more then once at a specific time and location. 

There is a name for the type of behavior these culprits are exhibiting while driving to show off, in the Spanish language it is called "Showing Off Your  Machismo"... They are trying to show "Look.. I am a Man... Look What I Can Do." and they feel they have the "right" to do so... When in reality this is one of the least acts you can do away from being a Man.  To show off to others around you with the hope of being looked up to for threatening other peoples lives?

How stupid... No one has the "right" to endanger,  their passengers or other innocent drivers and their passengers just to prove how great they are...

There is a place for those kind of drivers.  Its called a Race Track... Take your games there.. Go to a Controlled Environment designed for those types of driving... Leave you friends and other drivers out of your fun and games.  If you want to kill yourself... that's your decision.. Our streets and highways are not a race track nor a game board for you to play your silly games...

I am hoping that someone who is reading,  this who does or knows someone who plays "games" on our roadways will stop and think or have enough concern for their safety and the others around them to share this with them....  

Unfortunately, I doubt that the actual unsafe drivers will be reading this because their way of getting information is by TEXTING while driving...

Which brings another concern all its own..

John Glass

 

The Store I Call Wally World

Yesterday I went to a Superstore to get a can of spray paint (brown and cheap). I'm not going to give its name but it starts with W and ends with T.  So from now I'll just refer to it as Wally World. 

 I parked close to the door where I knew the paint dept. was. Went in. got the cheap paint and headed to the cashier. I was told 2 times by a Customer Service Agent that they just closed their register even though their "light" was still on...

Frown....

I ended up being served by the closest "open" register WHICH ENEDED UP BEING ON THE FAR END OF THE STORE.

Double Frown...


Do you think I left without saying something? Well, if you did.. You don't know me as well as you thought you did....

Finding the Customer Service SUPERVISOR who was sitting behind a counter MUCH CLOSER to the door I came in, COUNTING HER MONEY. Yes, I waited until she was into counting her $20.' s and I shared with her my concern... She looked up at me with a frown and I could tell she was upset because I made her lose her count.

After sharing with her my concern which I made sure was long and drawn out I said "Oh... I apologize for making you lose your count... guess your going to have to start all over again aren't you" Bet your feel kind of frustrated right now, don't you?"

And I turned with no more frowns but a smile on my face,  I walked my way out the door which was close to my car.....

Yes... I'm getting old and mean... but I hope she got my point...

Onward Thru The Fog..
Johnny

After-Thought:  : At least the Cheap Brown Paint WORKED WELL.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Henry and the Visitors

At the State School where I worked as a young man there was always something to laugh about. 

Life and working there and was always interesting.  You have to understand that laughing was in many of their minds a pressure release and "messing with people" which was in most cases were taken in jest and was a way for them to be able to accept who they were and accepting being there.

There was a "client" there by the name of Henry.  Henry believed that he assisted with the Administration of the School so he of course dressed the part everyday. He always dressed in a suit and carried a briefcase everywhere he went.  He would walk the streets on what he called "doing a errand for the Superintendent". 

One day... I and several of the "boys" were sitting on the lawn of Dorm 6 just watching the world go by...   Down the sidewalk came Henry with the always present briefcase.  As he approached I noticed a unfamiliar car coming up the street behind him.  The two elderly couples,  two men in the front seat and their wives in the back.  As they approached  it was obvious they were looking for a certain place on campus. 

To our luck both Henry and car meet just next to where we were sitting... The man in the front passenger seat called out to Henry as they came to a stop.  Henry turned and the man asked if him if he could direct them to the Recreation Hall?  Henry turned, looked down the street and in a very dignified manner gave them the longest route I think they could have taken on campus since the Rec Hall was only about 300 yards down the same road. 

After he gave them the directions he asked "Would you like for me to call ahead for you and let them know that you are coming?"  The man said that would be great and thanked him for his help.  Henry turned.. walked over to a metal light pole, put down his briefcase and pretended to pickup a phone receiver and dial a phone number on a "ghost phone" that wasn't there.

 I heard him say... "Ethel... This is Henry, I've got 2 couples on their way down there... Could you kind of keep a eye out for them??????

We all tried to keep a straight face as Henry turned back to them and said "Ethel wants to know who it is your coming to visit so she can make sure their there." 

By that time the car was easing away and I swear all four people had sunk a little lower in the car seats. 

Henry turned look at us and said "Well... how rude... I hope they don't find it.",  turned and continued his walk down the street after of course picking up his briefcase... Henry never went anywhere without his briefcase. 

I can see it playing out as if it were just yesterday....

Thank you Henry,,, for helping me better understand life and learn the real meaning of the old phrase..  Ask a silly question... get a silly answer....

Johnny

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Other Boys In Our Past..

I talk much about my brothers, our parents, and others in our family in  my little jaunts into our past.  But there were some other "boys" that just about each one of us, my immediate family, who also left their marks on the inside walls of the our head.

The "State School" was what it called by most in that area.  After you car climbed the tall hill on the Farm Market Road the campus sat just on the left, its open gates and green lawns with the fishing pond gave one the impression that life down that winding road surly was a place of comfort and a place were the State had  made a place for who need a place for coping with life that was, "just a little bit different" then ours.

 We called them "The Boys", because in most of their cases their mental capabilities, somewhere along their way,  had stopped them from reaching adulthood.  We called them "boys" because that in reality was what they were even though many of them were well into what we now call our "Senior Years".

At one time or another just about everyone in my family had taken on the challenge of working there.  It was a place where you learned a lot about what life can be like for others and how it is so important to help take care of others who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

I first worked there in my last year of High School, going each afternoon to the Central Kitchen and helping to prepare the evening meals, then serving the meals to them in the dining rooms that were attached to several of the dorms that they called home.  It was a abrupt awaking to me of just how lucky I was to have a "normal" life outside of those walls and fences. 

Several years later, I returned to work there helping with the caretaking of a group of them who lived on a specific dorm.  These were the "higher level boys".  Most of these boys held down small jobs in one of the work programs on the campus that allowed them to keep themselves "busy".  It also gave them a pittance of a salary which allowed them extra money that was above what their "state" monthly allowance provided.

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No matter what though, each day came and went just about the same as the day before. Up early, dress for the day, breakfast then off to work.  For the ones on the dorm that did not work we tried to keep them "busy".  Playing games with them, a couple hours of trying to teach them "life skills".  But mainly just making sure that their days went be un-eventful.

In the afternoons, the "working boys" would return for supper, and then about 4 hours of recreation time.  Our job then was to supervise them and I found myself wanting to "entertain" them.  I would take a small group of down to the Recreation Hall for evening dances on Fridays or movies on Saturday evenings.  Some employees would bring their "clients" and go to sit along the bleachers to watch over their "boys" from a distance.  I couldn't do that. I felt that it was part of my job to be with them and interact with them.  On Sunday afternoons I would take a small group to the pond that lay just inside the front gate for a couple of hours of fishing. 

 Never did I have to worry about one of them "running away" even though there had been instances where I feel a few had gotten "lost" and wandered away from the school in the past.  In most of those cases the surrounding community did their part and would report the sighting and in many cases keep "an eye on them" until someone came to get them and bring them "home". 

I enjoyed working there and learned a lot from the experience.  More then anything else I learned to be humble and a strong sense of understanding that everyone needs help every now and then.  I guess that's why even now, if I see one who seems lost or un-certain of their situation I found myself wanting to say "Can I help you?.. 

I guess I do that because I remember the looks and smiles of those "boys" when they understood that they meant something to someone, and the hope that when  and if I am ever in the same kind of situation, someone will come to my aid. 

Isn't that part of life? Being here for each other?  Knowing that you can make a difference maybe in just a small way.

 Sometimes it takes so little to let others know that you really do care...

Johnny





 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Yesterday.. A Veteran from the Korean War arrived at the resort with his ball cap with "Blue with Gold lettering on it, just as I was picking up my clients.

 I walked over and thanked him for his time served and  that I would be proud to carry his bag in.  It only took a minute of my time, considering the time he had spent doing his duty to our country. Isn't it funny how when you approach a person with a extend hand in friendship that the other person smiles, just about every time...no matter what happens from that moment on, they know your someone who cares, 

It doesn't take much to let people know you recognized them for who they are and what they have done. But then again... It can be offered to anyone and it has the same effect on most people doesn't it...

I have no problem with  greeting of the "shoulder bump" but that you can do with your hands still in your pockets... The offering of a extended and open hand has been around for centuries showing to the other person that you are weapon free and are willing to share a "personal contact" if only for a brief second.  Maybe we ought to go back and start using it again and do it more often...

I wish there would come a time and place when we felt comfortable enough with each other to lay down our arms and but I'm afraid that time will never come... But at the same time I feel that those who "Serve to Protect should be recognized not just one day a year but everyday.

They did not go into places unknown to "protect us" just one day a year. They went until the threat was no longer there so that we could be certain that "threat" did not make its way "over here".

Get to Know A Veteran..
Hire A Veteran...
Take Care of a Veteran...
 Recognized Our Veterans... For Who They Are and What They Did for All of Us..