|September, 2010: I could have sworn that I began this one on time, but a search of the site came up
with nothing. The month was obviously so busy that I would not have had time to write much, but a
sentence or two would have been a good start. My good friend and former colleague Don Michel
had moved to a rehabilitation facility in nearby Coppell, and I had begun visiting him on Saturday
afternoons - after my visit with Jimmy Mitchell at the Denton State Supported Living Center (formerly
Denton State School).
Saturday is my day for visiting those who cannot get out and about for one reason or another. My
father set a good example for visiting. From the day I was born we visited Grandma Pinson at her
farm nearly every day when Dad got off work. For the first several years she was able to get out, but
she had no car and little interest in leaving the farm. We would bring her things from town, and she
would give us fresh milk, eggs, and vegetables from the garden. At certain times of the year she
also had meat from a hog that was slaughtered on the premises. Nothing was wasted. I can
remember her making "lye soap" and "cracklins" in big pot over a fire in the yard. Can't remember
our ever using the lye soap, but workers with hands covered with dirt and grease swore by it.
Dad also visited his former partner, Sam Fryar, every week for several years after Sam became
blind and could no longer leave the house. I know that this may have been difficult for Dad, because I
know that he was very unhappy when Sam sold his half of the newspaper business to someone else
without consulting him. I think Dad would have probably bought it himself, if he had been given the
opportunity. Dad was not one to hold grudges, so he faithfully made those weekly visits to read for
Sam until the time that his friend could no longer understand what was being read.
September 10 was our wedding anniversary. I am sure that there have been many years when I
forgot - not intentionally - but just because I was paying too much attention to other things. The older
we get the more important the date becomes. I am blessed to have had the companionship of one
very fine woman for these 43 years.
On September 12 there was a concert celebrating the work of composer Larry Austin at the
University of North Texas. He was head of the composition department there before he retired in
1996. Larry writes electronic music that is generally ignored by most of the listening public. It is
music that I can also ignore without any feelings of guilt, but as I told my friend Carold Nunez, who
also attended the event - we have to give Larry credit for making a very successful career out of his
abilities in this area. The event was held in the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Studio - named for my former
composition teacher when I was there in the early seventies.
September, 1979: My late uncle, who was never at a loss for words, was guest at a banquet where
the photographer, thinking that he had finished his meal, deposited two used flash bulbs on his
plate. Returning to find the unexpected course before him, Uncle Walker smiled and said, "He must
have thought I was a light eater."
We are currently experiencing some very difficult times in our nation's economy. Preceding
generations remember the Great Depression that they describe as "hard times".
I had heard our resident fourth grader mention inflation before, because he has felt the pinch just
like everyone else, but when I heard him mention "hard times" the other day, I had to find out more.
As it turned out he was referring to a difficult problem that his teacher had given him - a problem in
The Creator has made us with two hears for hearing, two eyes for seeing, two nostrils, two hands,
etc., that are used for gathering information about the world around us. It is probably significant that
He gave us only one mouth for speaking.
If we study the proportion of input and output channels carefully, great wisdom awaits us. Much too
often we are speaking when we should be listening. It shows fine command of the language to
RHYME FOR OUR TIME:
Two dollars a gallon!! They told us it was near;
but I thought I heard some "expert" say it would peak sometime NEXT year.
It used to be so plentiful; it almost makes me cry,
to think that lots of folks like me used to have their own supply.
I could understand it, if they drilled through rock and sand;
even if it had to come from a strange and distant land.
But the product to which I refer is not a depleted thing.
It's not controlled by Uncle Sam or sold by and Arab King.
Therefore I cry and wonder why, when I go to the grocery store
and find that the price of a gallon of milk is now two dollars OR MORE!
(It is obvious from my remarks at the time that I was not aware how much government price controls
and subsidizing of the dairy industry has to do with the price of milk.)