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 out the  Christmas Cards Catalog 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.

Hmmm.. 25 cent tip every 5 minutes.. Hmm... add 3 dollars an hour in tips to the salary of $1.10 meant I was making $4.10 and hour which allowed for a 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/Approached 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?"....(smile)
???? I ask "how much?" (smile)
"The coffee is $10. per pound." (smile)
I smiled.. "No, but I'll donate a $1.....(smile)"
She responded with a pleasant smile and "Oh no sir, can't do that, it has to be a pound of coffee.."(*smile)
I looked at her, with a smile, "So.. I didn't know that "Un-contacted/approached Peruvian Jungle Natives drank Coffee?(Frown)"
Again with a plesant smile but a little annoyed now she responds "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, I thought to myself and then asked... With a smirk.  "So just how much of the $10.00 I would be donating actually goes to the Tribes and what are they going to do with it since we have not "approached" them? (smile)
The young lady looks at the cash register and doesn't answer...(frown).
The other lady behind the counter who is in the process of making my coffee..smiles and say's "$2.....*smile & rolls her eyes as if to say "Thank God Someone has finally figured out this scam)
???????... 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 of the now donated and purchased $20.00 bag of coffee towards saving the "Un-contacted/approached" tribes of the Peruvian Jungles??? Right? (Smile but, this time in a sarcasticly way)

So... Let me make sure I understand this.... I'm going to give you $10.00, your going to turn around and sell that same bag to another customer for $10.00 and out of the $20.00... $2.00 is going to go to the cause? Is that what I'm hearing? (Frown)
No response... from the 1st salesperson....(Frown)
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? (Smile)
"Ummm.. no sir.. sorry I" all out of $1's...(sarcastic Smile and thinking I'll just to ahead and leave the $5.00 as a tip.... When pigs fly).
So..... I dropped the .34 cents into her tip jar from the change from my coffee...(GREAT BIG SMILE and said "have a nice day" I then walked over and handed the young lady who had actually made my coffee the $5.00 tip.).
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