Wednesday, April 23, 2014

dating advice usually ignored

I will admit that there are nutty guys out there just as much as there are fruitcake gals. Dating is a mine field and one can't be so desperate or emotionally involved as to go into a relationship with eyes wide shut and common sense unplugged. It's a wise thing to consider the strange idiosyncrasies and realize the craziness won't get better along the way or go away. Chances are, the idiosyncratic behavior will only become more pronounced or even worsen. Lovely feeling won't make it all better. Be picky even if the pick'ens are slim.

There's another kind of crazy ~ to think one can change a partner in time. Good luck with that. My advise is, you got to know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away and know when to run.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

storytellers we

I tell more stories than jokes.  My dad was that way.  I was thinking today about the jokes my dad used to tell ~ and they weren't many.  He had a few funny jokes.  His kids knew them well because we heard them whenever company had joined us at the dinner table.  Dad also had some standard jokes that he'd tell for his lay ministry work visiting churches.  Those jokes were always new to different congregations.

Dad did have plenty of stories.  Dad knew how to tell them.  I always enjoyed listening to his stories of his growing up in a big family in Cheraw, South Carolina.  Most of his childhood tellings had to do with his mischievous older brother Murdoch who was the teaser of the family.

There was that time Murdoch fell asleep in the bathtub and failed to get out when his Papa, Mr. Burruss Finlayson, was banging on the door to get in.  There were two entries into the bathroom and Murdoch woke up too late and ran out the door when his Papa gained entry using one of the doors.  Murdoch grabbed a towel as he escaped through the front of the house.  The towel, unfortunately, was snatched by the screen door as he fled.  Murdoch ended up running down the sidewalk buck naked.  In his haste, he literally ran into a little lady that was their neighbor.

Needless to say, Murdoch spent the remainder of his childhood and young adulthood avoiding her.  It was a funny story to hear and just one of many stories my father used to tell.

My older brother used to tell jokes, but he too is a better storyteller than a joke-teller.  Brook can tell a story with perfect accuracy and make it entertaining to boot.  His stories can go into overtime because of the needed setup for accuracy's sake.  Brooky is as a history buff and knows his scripture too.  He can tell a story, teach a lesson while entertaining you at the same time.  He's a high school teacher and I know he is an excellent one at that.  I've run into many of his past students down through the years and they've all told me how he was their favorite.  I must agree, he's taught me many a lesson as my big brother while growing up.  Even when he's not teaching, he's entertained me with many a fascinating tale.

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
-Rudyard Kipling

As for me, I am a good storyteller too.  I once had a job where my supervisor once commented what a wonderful and interesting life I have had and am having ~ with all the many rich experiences I had shared with him.  I replied that my life was probably no more adventurous or interesting than anyone else, I just knew how to tell a story.  Every life has a story, it's just that not everyone knows how to tell it.

My stories don't always have a moral like those of my father.  Not all my stories have a lesson like those my brother can tell.  I tell stories that encourage laughter, because that's what I'm about.  It's the funny things in life I remember and enjoy recounting.  I like to tell stories that inspire laughter.

Afterthought: I hope that when I die, family and friends don't gather round to mourn, but rather come and tell the funny stories that came from what was my life.  I really want my end to bring on a good punchline.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Goodbye Mickey Rooney

I just read that Mickey Rooney died. The only time I ever recall my dad talk about an actor, it was in regards to Mickey Rooney.  He said that Mickey Rooney was one of the most talented fellows he'd ever seen on the screen.  His talents seemed to be limitless. Mickey could perform comedy to drama, sing, dance, do pratfalls, impersonations and was also quite a musician.  What couldn't that fellow not do?

My favorite role of Rooney's was that of the all-American depression era teenager - Andy Hardy.  I can't help but think that my dad saw a little Andy Hardy in himself.  I guess most of his generation felt the same way about Andy Hardy.  I'm sure that most of my dad's generation had a great fondness for Mickey Rooney.

Mickey Rooney was one the greats.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

into the outfield of dreams

Dad bought me this little baseball getup.  I still have it somewhere around the house.  My only baseball field was in my backyard.  I never was a little leaguer like many of my young friends.  I don't know why ~ perhaps I never asked.

My dad loved baseball.  He loved to go outside with his kids and play from his wooden stool.  We had a barrel of bats in the garage with ample gloves from which to choose.  I'm a southpaw, so dad made sure I had a glove just for me.  I guess I related family to baseball.  Everyone got to play from oldest down to youngest.  Everyone got to play.

In elementary school, R.A. Mitchell, I never played baseball with the rest of the kids during recess.  I'd often spend my free time on the bleachers pretending I was piloting a B-17 Flying Fortress, re-enacting scenes from the latest episode of 12 O'clock High.  I never thought to go out there and play ball.  Those kids, as young as they were at the time, seemed too serious about their sport.  It didn't look as fun as when the family played in our backyard.  Maybe that's why I never asked to play little league.

During one of my last days of elementary school I was made to play baseball.  The only time.  I couldn't get out of it.  It was one sixth grade class against the other sixth grade class.  The teachers were trying to make sure all the boys were in the game.  I spent most of the time in the dugout.  No one was about to let me get at the bat.  I was ganged up and threatened not to play.  I didn't want to play anyway.  I remember not wanting to sit in the dugout, on the cement slab seating. I'd rather be out there on the bleachers with my head in the clouds.

Time was running out and the bases were loaded.  It had been past my turn at bat several times.  Kids kept getting in front of me and keeping me in the dugout.  I just wanted out of the cage and out of the gate, into the school yard, away from the field.  The star players were arguing who was going to get to bat last.  One of the teachers came up and stopped the bickering and said it was my turn to bat.  I was told to take a bat and man the plate.  I heard a lot of angry voices around me.  One kid told the teacher that he knew I'd lose the game for them.  A couple of other of my classmates were yelling at me as I picked up a bat.  It was nerve-racking, but I'd swung at balls plenty of times before.  The teacher did not relent to the boys pleas.  She told the angry little mob that it was my turn to bat and that was that.  They all had plenty of chances, it was David's turn.

The bases were loaded and my team were not happy that the not so mighty David was at bat.  The first swing I swung and missed.  The second swing was a foul ball.  There was a boys voice in the background begging the teacher to please take me out of the game.  My eyes and thoughts focused on the next swing. 

I swung and made solid contact with the ball.  It went far out into the outfield and caught the boys out there off guard.  It was a good moment, just like in the movies.  All the boys ran home and the angry young voices turned into cheers.  I got plenty of pats on my back and praise from the very kids that had held me back.  I had never had a moment like that before or since.  No sooner had the game been won than the last school bell rang.  It was a fleeting moment of glory as all the children headed back into the school to grab their books to go home.  It was one heck of a way to start a Summer vacation.