about me,, humm,, old gray haired, half wore out, totally broke, blue jean wearing, bluegrass picking, father of 3 girls, married since I was in Junior High, armchair adventurer, introverted, homesteadin', codger from the soverign nation of Texas. But I do have an open mind..
John Henry Faulk was a Texan that carried controversity in his hip pocket, which is one of the reasons, I think, he never got his due recognition.
This is a Merry Chirstmas wish to you (even to those who might not believe in Christmas). You decide whether you want to experience this Christmas story written and spoken by John Henry Faulk, but perhaps it is a lot of people's story also.
I hope you had a good year and a Happy Season and forward..Thanks, Glenn
I know that writing about POLITICS is a BAAAADDDD thing to do on a blog,,but PLEASE Read this and have a comment even if you don't post one. Am I just being an OLD FOGGIE Codger or does anyone else see this as an intentional chipping away at our PRIVACY and LIBERTIES??
To quote Mark Twain, “Reports of my death have been greatly
exaggerated”.I am still around and
looking back over the past year, I think it has been the most varied and busy
one so far.
“All’yall” which is plural for “everyone”, if you live in
the south, remember the tale of my Christmas night episode and the following
several weeks.The Boss had a full time “patient” to look
after (me) for several weeks.What you
probably don’t know is that her dad, which was 92, became ill and was in and
out of the hospital during this time frame.Sadly, he passed away in June, but things were ok with him about his
journey.He had prepared for this
situation which was a great part of his personality but it is not a short and
easy process taking care of a person’s affairs.The Boss had a large bundle to tote with all the legal and personal
affairs of which needed tending.
About three years ago
my middle daughter adopted a one year old little boy from Russia. Then she,
last year, went through the process of
adopting a newborn infant.The mother changed her mind after the baby’s
birth and the disappointment fueled the idea of another adoption.She decided that an overseas adoption was
less likely for the mother to “back-out”.An adoption agency found a baby boy in The Republic of Congo and the
process was started again.A while into
the adoption, the agency called my daughter and said, “We have access to
another infant the same age but not the sister of the little boy”.“Sure, why not”, my daughter’s instant
reply.Sooo, the two infants, got here around middle summer.The little girl, Adina, had a severe case of
pneumonia.We doubt that she was getting
treatment in the Congo. Pics to the left show "arrival" and then three months later.
My only “demand” was that she was not going to The Republic
of Congo, having the other two to take care of.Ye’uh , right, I have that much “say-so”, but as it turns out, her
husband and his sister took the trip, was in the Congo for a week, several
unexplained, to us, situations about getting out of there, the brave two young
people got on a plane to Houston.Immediately off the plane and directly to a hospital after the plane
landed in Houston, then we could breathe a lot easier.Treatment and a proper diet have allowed the
little flowers to bloom.I think that
from this point forward I shall refer to them as my little “Menagerie of
Since my “episode”, I have felt soooo much better that I
have accumulated a long list of things that needed tended around the old home
place, re-roofing the barn, cleaning out the barn (6 pickup loads), general
cleanup and trimming,,,oh and The Boss’s deck (added a storeroom to put left
over stuff from her dad’s house, and ours)…..so guess what? Not much blogging
or writing although I am still involved with The East Texas Writers Guild.I hope to get back into “the stories”
I hope everyone is doing great, or at least OK.I try to keep up with reading the posts, but
have done a less that adequate job of commenting.
A lotta things been going on around here, but thoughtt I would update ya'll on The Boss's backyard "reading deck"...It is slowing going for and Old Codger...I gotta git through with this thing so I can start on "The Hotel". Reckon this thing will stand up under the Old Codger...I will walk softly...
It has been a while since I posted two days in a row but after watching two weeks of the "so called" political conventions I have about had a "bellyfull" of all the BS we are subjected to.
Sadly, I came across this story on Yahoo. Old Codgers like me will remember this music maker that passed away today. If we would follow more closely to the advice of this simple song from Joe South, a southern songwriter and performer, a whole bushel load of our nations problems could be solved.
I invite you to take a short 3 minutes and see if this YouTube video has any effect on your thoughts,,at all.. Thanks
This month our club, The East Texas Writers Guild, hosted a small contest with a sentence prompt; In October I saw a barefoot girl with a brown paper sack under her arm walking along the highway.
I said "what the heck, let's see what happens." So here is my attempt.
saw it and I smiled.An unusually warm
evening for the week before Halloween brought my rocking chair to the front
porch.Living in the country did not
mean you’d never see your neighbors.Several were enjoying the evening walking up and down the road in front
of the house in which I grew up.
barefooted girl walking by carrying a brown paper sack under her left arm
caught my attention.A slight grin kept anyone
from having the first idea what she was thinking.With Christmas being only a few months away,
instantly my notion of a paper sack snapped my imagination.Growing up, my daddy, and from the stories I
heard about his daddy, Christmas was a time, for what my girls call “Pa(w)
Pa(w) Sacks”.Christmas morning brings
small brown lunch sacks twisted shut. All sorts of treats restes inside the
paper container.The thought of the
sweet and brightly colored ribbon candy causes my jaws to tighten and my saliva
glands to kick in.There is no way to
eat these wavy pieces without a gluey sweet stream running down your chin and
onto the appendages holding the slick object. These gooey treats along with the
orange candy peanut marsh mellows in addition to an apple, an orange and a
selection of seasonal nuts makes up these gifts. The contents varied little
over the years.This consistent pattern was
only a small part of the larger pattern of the security of youth.Growing up, we always listened to the stories
about how these sacks were the highlight of the season.Gifts were often small and inexpensive or non
existent.Everyone had faith that the
sacks would be there.Some years the
“loot” would be a little heavier it seemed, but always the weight felt like a
bundle of gold. The gold was not just what was in the sack but knowing with
confidence and the meaning of its intention.
change and the leaves shed from the trees with the seeds bringing new
growth.Eventually the oak passes the
tradition of dispersion to the younger sprouts while the oak is taken back into
nature’s cycle. The “Pa(w)Pa(w) sacks still appear on Christmas morning. It’s a
circle we all get to experience.Where
is this young “sack lady” in this cycle.I wonder at first, what is in that brown paper bag?She gives no clue with her sly smile but each
step is true and with determination.I
didn’t ask her.With a glance in my
direction, I think I saw her lift her head a little higher and stretch her
stride a little longer.The sly grin was
now a big smile.Yep, I know what was in
the little brown bag.
There is nothing like the glowing warmth of a campfire. Snapping and popping, the oak logs piled high with the yellow and orange flames squirting upward through the tightly stacked cracks from the bark still on the wooden fuel.
Too large to be intended for the fire, cut sections of trees served as resting stools for more than one annual trip to the familiar river bottom. Without confirmation, each has in intended occupant. Time has a way of etching routine without formality. The unceremonious act of who takes their place in cadence is stamped in time.
It seems one always has “one more thing” to sort out and put in its place. The last to take his place in line. The last to turn out the lantern. Beyond the reach of the campfires shine clattering of assorted gear indicates the restlessness. All, except this one, have gathered at their appointed places amongst the bark covered thrones.
“What are you doing out there? You gonna come on or what? We ain’t gonna wait all night.”
The strings are tuned and the whistles are wet. We wait momentarily.
“Well, are ya coming?”
From the darkness and damp, with clarity comes a chuckle and reply.
“In a bit, perhaps, you old codger, In a bit.”
The usual banter and ribbing of “always late” and “it’s gonna be daylight soon" offers a familiarity to the situation. We know we are going to have to wait. A round with flask and a dirge of song pushes the hour past.
The shifting of logs and flicker of flame, upward the embers struggle to rise. The glow still strong but not quite as bright, the warmth still surrounds us all. The sweetgum stump, awaits in quiet with sounds from just beyond. It seems the clatter is not intense as it was some time earlier.
“The music is old and bellies are full, if you’re coming on, then ya gonna have to do it soon. Not sure of the duration with this routine of fun.”
A chorus of laughter votes in favor of wit, but certainty not at all certain. Waiting for a reply I sit suddenly quiet as I listen for anticipated answer.
“In a bit, perhaps, when I finish. In a bit.”
The campfire out, the reminding ashes, what’s left of the mighty oak, a reminder that dawn is near. The river fog cloaks the forest near and water still between the banks flows. The cold ashes swirl about and, with a grin, I answer the wind’s invitation ; “are you coming”.
This is NOT a warm and fuzzy feeling book. It is an exercise in Brinda Carey's healing process descibing an incredible story that is not an isolated incident. This situation is more "common" than the "cold". The Boss is a retired CPS worker and it is a shocking fact that these cases are epicemic in numbers.
In addition to her story, the book is a virtual treasure trove of phone numbers, websites and other ways to connect to groups and associations to help curb this cancer on our society. I bought a book to give away, I started reading it at the office and continued that night (reading my hardbound copy) until I finished the story. The soft cover, I am giving to anyone that asks for it. If more than one asks for it, I will make a "number lot" and have someone at the office to draw the winning number.
Even if you don't buy the book, (but it is loaded with information on warning signs and other helpful information), please drop by her website and give her a note of support. The won't take long..
Let me know if you are interested in the "free raffle".
Bite'n off more than one can chew is sometimes right up my alley. Zig Ziegler, who is a master motivational speaker, once wrote in the foward of his upcoming book that he weighed much less than what he actually did at the time. He figgered that in six months, at 2 pounds a day it would be a snap. In fact, it would be so easy that he waited another 3 months to even start his diet. Well, old Zig is never wrong in my book,,, This Old Codger decided that I needed a "playhouse". A room, buidling, or hut down by the barn in which to do some "reed'n, rite'n and no rithmatic", so I mentioned this to The Boss.
"Ok, but what about the outside, covered reading deck that you promised to build for me?" (Now you imagine her look for yourself.)
"OK, Dear,, but I was going to do that and not tell you and let it be a surprise."..(Now imagine the look I got with that.) "But now I guess it won't be a surprise." (Ok I know that is lame, but whadda ya gonna do?)
So, I have been working on her deck and it is coming along pretty much on schedule.
I see you there a'thinkin',,,"what the hell does that have to do with Old Zig? Well, I will tell you. Zig talks about his momma trying to get him to do this, that and another, and she would say "Zig, you're just like Grandma's biscuits,,,she used to say 'they squated to rise and got caught in the squat'." Ok, I will translate; you have to push to keep going in order to reach your goal, so just like Zig saying that he weighed much lessat the time but had time to lose, I have "named" my playhouse, (actually the design has developed into a larger room that will sleep one of my girl's families - with a small bathroom)..We'll just have to see how far i get with that. So to "take my oversized bite "and see if I can chew it, I am showing you the sign that I made that will hang on the front porch above my rocking chair... Ok, time for me to "chew". Now, I will have to hurry up with the "Grammy Deck", and get started on my project. It wouldn't hurt if ya'll gave me a nudge of encourage every now and then by saying, "How's the hotel a'comin'?" Rates will be reasonable :) :)
Not much of a story… to most.
We all know where most of the boundaries lie. We have all kinds of signs What is the speed limit? I dunno. Well look for a sign, Duffus. We all know they are there. It gives some sort of comfort to know they are there. Sometimes you have to LOOK. How did you learn what that road sign meant. Somebody probably told you. Others have to experiment and learn about the wonders of technology. Radar. Still in a way that is a sign. This posted photo is a sign. Now that you have glanced back at the pic and have asked yourself, “ Has he lost his ever loving mind”?
Nope, Yep, well I dunno, but here’s how it goes.
Back before color television and video games and every kind of sport imaginable, there was “little league” boy’s baseball. I know, I know all you weemen liber’s ( I got three daughters, remember?), ya’ll are going to say “We didn’t get to play baseball back then”. Well, that is a different story and different day.
The season was short, not like today, where the extra games, play-offs and such, go nearly all summer long. You got at it and got it over with, but in those few short seasons, each learned about guidelines. Rules- Rules- Rules. Why so many rules? I dunno. To keep honor and chaos in its rightful spot, I suppose, and at times it did.
You learned that the “Dads” were engineers, coaches, councilors, medics, and on and on. The field had been neglected for years. A Dad with a host of other Dads cleared brush and mowed until you could see where the old field was. Chicken wire was restrung on the back stop. I don’t know who paid for the chicken wire but I can tell you it was from the community.
Everyone’s Dad worked. Coaching time was after that. Part of the “coaching” was that if the coach was late or couldn’t make it, you practiced anyway, on your own. The Dads umpired. You didn’t give your Dad or anyone’s Dad any lip. You did not want to be “out” the second time. There was amble transportation. Yep; Moms and Dads. Somebody’s parent had to leave early. Yep, hitch a ride with somebody’s Mom or Dad. Maybe even eat supper with them. Do you see a pattern here?
Socialization. That term has just about worn me out. Play baseball for a season with these mentioned guidelines and you will get plenty of socialization. Who bats first? Who bats fourth? What is the difference? I know. Do you? Everybody gets to bat. You barely had enough to field the team anyway; wealthy, poor, and in between. “It’ll all even out in the end”; ( title of a great song a friend of mine wrote, different story and different day). You showed up every time. Practice or game, you were there because the others couldn’t play if you were not there to be part of the team.
I could go on and on, and probably will with a lot of stories about the “players” that I encountered on this field of dreams. Yep; quite a few of them too. About the PHOTO? Oh, like the story, not much. If you can use your imagination, you are looking from the home run fence back down the right field fence line. If you LOOK veeerrry closely, you will see HOME. Yep, and a sign of the past.
The newspaper was lying openly on the coffee table. My father in law had left it open in order to ask if I knew the man in the photo. I did. He had made for me a couple signs. The detail is cut by a computer and they can be applied to a smooth surface. The article explained how he had bought the old movie theater. It had been storage building for an appliance store for many years and he hopes to renovate it back to a theater. It was known that I had an interest in saving old buildings of all sorts but movie houses were especially intriguing to me. I made a mental note to drive by and look at the progress myself.
The rumble of the diesel pickup engine died away and the Sunday morning was deathly quiet. I had a perfect parking spot; within twenty feet of the ticket booth. I sat in my truck listening to the clicking of the hot engine cooling. I got out of the truck and walked under the awning. An earnest smile stretched across my face. The last time I had been to this movie house was still fresh on my mind. I can’t remember the title but it was an English movie. It had a police chase scene that lasted most of the movie and I was forever confused about the siren noise. Years later I realized all European police cars made the same sound. I was a small boy, about ten or eleven years old. I was in the fourth grade. This was the same night the junior high building burned to the ground.
The front entrance was locked and the ticket window was boarded up. The side of the building had a large door used for the emergency exit. The construction men were using this door because of its location to the main theater. I turned the knob. It was unlocked and the door opened easily. A broken brick propped against the bottom held it open allowing a large shaft of sunlight through its opening. Stepping inside, it only took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust. There was no resemblance to its earlier years. Plaster had almost completely fallen away from the red brick structure wall. About a half dozen metal folding chairs haphazardly arranged themselves around an ancient wood burning heater. This must be what a dungeon must smell like. Dampness and mold mingled with wild animal excrement. What a mess.
Being careful of where I placed my steps, I made my way toward the concession stand area. Without warning the exit door slammed shut. The noise cracked off the brick wall and echoed back from when the stage one stood. Eternal blackness was complete. A person’s first instinct is to put their hand in front of their face. My hand was not there, or at least it was not visible. A touch to the forehead confirmed the darkness. Logic is an unarmed alley in the battle of panic. A mental retracing of my steps around broken glass, rusty nails and other debris hampered my ability to find the exit. Not even a sliver of light seeped its way around the rickety door frame. If I waited a few minutes, hopefully my eyesight would further adjust to the blackness. They did not adjust.
I have heard that when you lose one sense, another will compensate to make up for that loss. Surely that was happening. The atmospheric interpretation changed. The cool air felt filtered and refined. Pungent mold odors morphed toward a hint of corn oil. Visions of molten yellow butter laced around the distinct memory of popcorn. They obviously were cleaning the snack bar area and had yet to clear away the years of spilled ingredients. No? The sharp report of filth was lacking. Sliding my feet instead of taking steps, a stationary object obstructed my movement; I bumped my knee. Reaching forward, searching for identification, I recognized the feel of an upholstered seat back. The cloth was cool and dry to the touch. A brocade patter was consistent across the entire back. Moving my hand downward I could recognize the shape as being a seat familiar to most move houses I had visited. I stood until my balance was steadied. If I sat for a few minutes surely my vision would adapt. The seat was soft and comfortable. I rested my elbows on the arm rests.
Stone quietness has a way of screeching. This was not that. Electronic scratching erupted from the darkness straight ahead. I relaxed my grip on the arm rests. My hands were going numb. Instantly the white reflection was blinding…..
The screen faded to black. A soft blueish glow through frosted diffusing panels scatted along both wall casts a hazy hue throughout the theater. Small white lights at the end of each row of seats illuminated the carpeted isles toward the rear entrance. On the left east wall a white box with glowing red letters marked the side EXIT. My initial though; I will sit awhile and enjoy the event but the door opened and a bright shaft of sunlight eased its way into the chamber. The house lights dimmed. I knew it was time to go.
As I looked at the peeling paint from the stately marquee, I sat in my truck listening to the clicking of the hot engine cooling.
A few weeks back I re-upped my Facebook account and was reunited, rather quickly, with some of my old high school buddies. I think I am joined in opinion with almost all of them that we had a unique friendship amongst us all. We all had very fond memories of each other and our teachers.
One of these folks spent his career with the Texas Department Public Safety, one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in the state and in my opinion any where,,,but that aint the point. He has had a Blog for quite sometimes and it has some very good (interesting and humorous) stories. It's hot and you may not want to go outside and play in the heat of the day, so I recommend that you drop by and say "howdy" to the old TIN STAR RANCH HAND. I think the pleasure will be yours. Tell him that old Glenn Bert "sent'cha"
Just another "re-post" linked to FB. I apologize if you fellow bloggers feel tricked into a site visit..maybe i don't feel too bad :)
I am tired.Tired of this, tired of that…I
often find myself wrestling with things that other people are able to just
Nope, I am not going to gripe on a
particular subject.I am going to talk
about a solution; I hope.
As with almost all my teachers, my
coaches had a big influence on my up-binging.
I would like to see a few, or even
maybe a lot of things to be different. Things that are hindering me from which
I might want to go or do.Barriers, or
at least obstacles, can sometimes get in the way.It can be anything.Imagine yourself and the things that are blocking
your progress; business, school, reading writing, ‘rithmetic.Maybe ailments.I know I have a bushel load of those
too.It has to be something though, doesn’t
it?Something is always causing the soup
to be a little too salty.
Then I remembered.I seem to do more of that, now that the snow
is gathering on the mountain, if you know what I mean. It has been a
looonnngggg time since I was in high school.Things change.Those that have
seen a glimpse of my stature, you can see that it might be described as
robust.I am not overweight.Even though at 6’2”, I am just too short for
the comparison scale to match my weight.You might find this hard to believe but in high school, I ran
track.Hurdles.I know, not your normal idea of a hurdler,
but that is not the point.I enjoyed a small
level of success in this effort.That is
not the point either.Wait, maybe it
is.I don’t know.
Our school was hosting a track meet
with a large number of other schools.The school had a tradition of excelling with its track program therefore
a large number of schools wanted to come to our meets.In most of the running events, because of the
large number of participants, preliminary races or trials are run to determine
the fastest times in each heat.The
finals were then run at the end of the meet to determine the ranking of the
runners in that event.The preliminary
times were not as important as long as they were fast enough to make the “cut”
for the final races. I was fortunate enough to make the finals in one of the
events.I truthfully cannot remember
exactly which particular event.
Time came for the final event in that
category to be run.The coach and I were
talking about “go, go, go” type of stuff.He mentioned that I did not have the fastest time in the “pre-lims” and
it had been nowhere close to my best times. It was a very cordial type of
conversation.My response was immediate,
and was, I felt, true, “But Coach, it is raining!”I am sure you can agree that I had a good
I cannot remember seeing “Coach”
without his Beechnut chew, and I never saw him spit; ever. He also was a robust
man.The race was ready to start and the
starting blocks were in place.He walked
gingerly about twenty feet out in front of all the runners.Stretching both arms out parallel, still
chomping, he turned two 360 degree turns very slowly.The other participants looked at me as if I had any clue about what he was
doing.I just shook my head.The man with the starter pistol even looked
at me. Coach swaggered back to where I was standing, grinned and shook his head
in an affirmative nod.
“Well, Bert, you are in luck”
“Coach, what in the heck are you doing
and talking about?”
“No, excuses, I have determined that it
is raining in all lanes.”
The starter pistol went off echoing
against the brick walls of the gym and high school buildings. The race went
A fellow member of our writers guild was working on a "post" for his website and he shared this idea with me last night. Thanks, Marvin, I will post a link to your article as soon as you get it posted but I couldn't wait. I remember this as a youngster and now as an Old Codger it is more true today. Please spent 4 minutes and watch this video by Red Skelton...Thanks, Glenn
Some of us “old timers” remember a popular song by Johnny Rivers with which we ground a lot of cornmealinto the hardwood floors of various Texas “honky-tonks” during the 60’s and 70’s.
I hadn’t thought of this old favorite for many years until I was looking for a topic for my return to the “blog-us-fear”.Most have probably not noticed but I have been a little slack in keeping up with my posting and commenting on all my favorite blogs, but those of you who may have notice my absence, I figured I would kind of fill in the blanks of “how come”this has been.
Christmas is noted for being a time for surprises.We had a great Christmas day.I cooked a dressing and “The Boss” and I added all the extras and took lunch to her 92 year old Dad, who still lives at home.We had a grand time.The girls were going to gather at our house later Christmas day, so we returned home and started the “dressing routine” all over again. My goodness, the grandkids were a joyous bunch.Squealing and a hollerin’, jumping, riding in the new John Deere sideboard wagon, American girl doll sleigh riding, cap guns along with a long list of other gadgets.
All tuckered out, the kids, and some adults hit the hay pretty early.The Boss and I usually stay up with the bunch that likes to talk and visit.This is always a pretty good size group, but finally around 1:30 am everyone finally gave in to weariness.That cool sheet on my bed felt great.The Boss takes longer to get her list covered so she was still up around 2:00am, when I woke up.No need to cover all the technical parts of my self-diagnosis, but I will jump to the part where I said, “Boss, meet me in the van, I need to go have my blood pressure checked.”With little commotion, I told my youngest daughter, “don’t wake the others, I am going to have my BP checked and we will call you.You can explain if anyone wakes up.”
Skipping over the details of the tubes, wires and vampire visits from the ER room, the next morning the cardiologist visited and said we would do the “dye routine”, but he thought he could treat the heart attack with just medicine due to the fact that I had immediately take a couple of aspirins on the way to the ER and fast reactions in getting to the hospital, damage seemed to be less than usual. A second option would be placement of one or more stints, or a less likely would be a bypass operation.The next morning, we did the ”dye routine” and surprise, surprise I won what was behind door number 3.He showed me the picture of the procedure’s results and he didn’t have to do much explaining. Friday, I took a three- four hour nap while I received a triple bypass for a late Christmas present...
And you are thinking, ”What the hell does that have to do with Johnny Rivers?”The next day, The Boss was showing me the “dye” picture again and I pretty much knew that at some point I would be writing this blog and out of the blue came a line of the chorus from this old Johnny Rivers song.The publishers are just going to have to sue me for changing the words, but these changes reflect perfectly with what I thought at that moment.
So ta-ack a goo-ud look at my face
You see my smi-ile, it’s back on my face
Now look closer, it’s easy to trace
“The tracks of My Years”...
(not actual pic, The Boss has the real one somewhere,,lol)