Category Archives: Jewell in the Rough

Photos for Family-2

 

As you can see, i still haven’t resolved a better way to get these photos to family. One comment: The one of Blythe the day she was born is a little worn. i carried it in my billfold until i quit carrying photos in my billfold. i had culled all of the others and it was the only one for years, but i finally decided i would completely ruin it and took it out. It was a great day, July 7, 1972.

Uncle Eulyss Lawrence of Gotha, Florida and citrus groves with the goofy kid, 1944.
Blythe, my heart still.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My father with me and Johnny and Pipey Orr in their backyard, Greenwich Avenue, Red Bank, Tennessee. circa 1961
Goofy kid when he had hair. 1952.
Wedding day with Martha and Joe. Paris, Texas. May 22, 1971.
Cousins goofy kid, sweet Martha, beautiful Nancy, and good guy Johnny. i betting it was Easter, circa 1948.
A repeat. Gulfport, MS, May 1944. The two adults in this photo could move mountains if they had wanted to.
Goofy kid. It’s scary to think i once again look like this except i think he had more hair then.

Photos for Family

i can’t find “albums” on Facebook any more, so i am using this to get photos out to our extended family. i may end up using dropbox but for now, i am  using my website. This is one of about what seems like thousands of small boxes with photos from various times. The two of Martha are priceless.

A happier Martha.
Martha quite a while ago.
Mister Grumpy, 1944
The goofy guy with cousins Nancy and Johnny Orr, circa 1947.
Eze, France on our trip to Monte Carlo, courtesy of Maureen’s work performance, 1993. Eze would be one place i would like to visit again.

The Misperception of an Anachronism

This, granted, needs to be severely edited. i wrote it this morning when i woke up way too early thinking of several things to write, and not able  to get them out of my head, or more accurately afraid i would not remember them if i did not record them, i got up and recorded them on this terrible enslaving, addicting machine. Then i wrote some more on the plane, and finished it after lunch in the incredibly comfortable home of my friends who live in San Francisco, if not life-long damn near and for eternity,  just a few minutes ago. And i wanted my friends to read it. In the rough, before the severe edits.

The old man woke up early this morning and could not quit thinking about how he was an anachronism now, and then the old man wondered why, and then he thought about it some more.

It was this small prism of time, and then it went away. Just like that.

Our country had won the great war. The folks who won it had come through chaotic times to, not only survive, but succeed. Many had seen the previous great war of the world and won that one too.

These folks had relatives who had fought against each other in a senseless war created by hotheads who somehow got others, not only to fight for their cause but to kill their brothers. Both sides. And all of it had so many reasons for happening and so many ways to deal with the outcome, they only managed to outlaw the name of slavery, morphing it into prejudice and hate and abuse and intolerance.

These folks had survived financial chaos and ruin when the financial finagling of greed brought that house of economic cards crashing to the ground.

The folks created this place in this prism of time through which this anachronism sees. His misperception.

These folks brought about great national pride, a sense of invincibility, a sense of rightness, a sense of economic prosperity.

It happened everywhere across the country. In my little slice of that pie in that small prism of time, i came into the world on one side of a small town the middle of a beautiful and very sheltered life. They called it a town, even a city, and it became that city thing eventually, but when i was born and grew up, it was, to paraphrase Sonny Boy Williamson although i’m pretty damn sure Sonny Boy certainly didn’t have Lebanon, Tennessee in mind…or maybe he did, it was too large to be a village and too small to be a town. The people i knew were magic, religious to a fault, friendly – we all went to church, not only on most of Sunday, but on Wednesday, to Vacation Bible School two weeks in the summer, to a revival every night of the week when that circus came to town. The folks there were the older, never to be questioned folks.

i grew up believing what i saw: Our American forefathers of stature were heroes with no flaws. George Washington never told a lie, especially about that chopping down that cherry tree. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson loved people and believed in total equality. They fought the bad guys. Andrew Jackson was a hero. He too fought the bad guys. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett killed bears with their knives and when necessary with their bare hands. Kit Carson saved the West. They all fought the bad guys. i knew. i read it all in books.

i believed what i was told: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Wash my hands. Red and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in his sight; Jesus loves all the little children of the world. Your body is a temple; don’t smoke or drink or cuss – well, okay: i knew that was what i was supposed to do, but i still wanted to smoke like every man i knew plus Humphrey Bogart did, and i sure wanted to know what was so bad (or good) about alcohol and i took cussing to a new level of art, fitting for a sailor-to-be.

i was to do what i was told. Little children were to be seen and not heard. Brush my teeth. Don’t suck my thumb. Work hard and you will succeed. Save your money and you will become rich. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.

And we went to the mountains to watch the Indians, the Cherokees dance, and they wore big headdresses of feathers flowing down their backs to their ankles and then we were boy scouts and wearing loin clothes and leather moccasins and dancing in unison hopping on the dirt floor of the main tent at the state fairgrounds. And those Indians for which we did not know there could be another name were the good guys in our cowboy and Indian games: scouts, partners, heroes,

And we played with abandon from when we got up until when we went to bed. Outside. All the time, heat and cold, snow, but not rain. Then we played on the porch, making up games. And we ran all over the neighborhood, almost all over the town. We didn’t feel poor. We went out after breakfast, played until dinner, aka lunch, were back for supper, and in the summer out again to catch fireflies and fight off mosquitoes until bedtime. We fought and were bullied and we learned right makes might, not the other way around; we learned the end does not justify the means; we learned to be honest and not try to get the best of anyone else in money, in games, and in life by cheating; we learned to play by the rules; we learned to obey authority, and because we believed authority played by our rules, we did just that, unless, of course, it was something fun and we didn’t think it would harm anyone; we learned to not show off after we scored, just hand the ball to the official; not to brag; be good sports win or lose. We were taught to be respectful, listen to our elders.

We didn’t lock our doors, car doors, house doors, any doors. We learned to give to the poor, to eat all the food on our plate (which was substantial and fried, not sautéed, with bacon grease and good, oh so good, especially with biscuits and butter. which also would be dessert with sorghum molasses) because the little children were starving in Africa (Yep, my mother really told me that more than once when we had broccoli or Brussel sprouts for supper). We drank milk because it was good for us. Suicide cokes were dangerous.

And we got the chicken pox, measles, the German kind, mumps, but we got to listen to the radio in the downstairs bedroom and “Fibber McGee and Molly,” “The Lone Ranger,” “Tom Mix,” “Gangbusters,” and “The Shadow” visited our bedsides, and we had our tonsils out after being put to sleep with that gross smelling ether, but it was okay even though it hurt when woke up because we had ice cream.

We played on the farms of relatives and milked the cows at first light for fun and ran through the fields and fished in the creeks and hunted with our Red Ryder BB rifles, then later with a .22 and then with the .410 shotgun, and then with the 12-gauge.

We cleaned the house and the windows and the dishes, and stripped and waxed the real wood floors, and cleaned the coal clinkers from the deep recesses of the basement. We mowed the lawn, raked the leaves, clipped the hedges, and early on helped hang out the wash on the clothesline in the backyard. We got spanked, this goofy guy continually, for doing wrong, but we knew it was because they loved us (teachers included) and because we had done wrong.

The boys respected, if not worshipped the girls, putting them on that pedestal, and the girls wore dresses, and we wanted to marry them, and we took them on dates to the movies and put our arms around their shoulders and tried to cop a feel, not knowing or caring or feeling bad about what was driving us to do such a thing. And we gave them our letter sweaters and our friendship ring to wear around their necks, and they ditched us for older guys. You know, the juniors and seniors when we were freshmen. But we loved those girls and began to go out with the younger ones and we would go up on Billy Goat Hill or on the gravel road down by Spring Creek and make out with the moon shining on us and never get very far and the ones that did got into trouble they married and grew up fast. But we always respected them for being women, different, but with a shared experience with us.

Then, we all grew up too fast. We wanted to. Why, i don’t know.

But things started hinting in the back of our minds maybe it wasn’t all that wonderful. We didn’t know the world was not this magical slice of earth, not the place too large to be a village and too large to be a town. because the slice was divided down mostly geographical lines but there were these other folks sharing this place too large to be a village too small to be a town, but we didn’t see them except when they were hired folks or we came across them coming down from the balcony at the movie theater because they weren’t allowed to sit downstairs. But we didn’t think about it…yet.

And all was right with the world…except for the Soviet Union, those damn communists…and what we didn’t know. The Soviets were the bad guys, eager to beat us, and never worrying about what was right to reach their goal of world domination, and they had bombs, big bombs that could blow us up like Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and we were sore afraid, and did drills to hide under those flimsy little desks and run like hell to the mustering spot out in front right after we learned about Jill and whatever his name was and their dog Spot.

And then there was this other thing about these people we never saw in this place too large to be a village too small to be a town because the slice was divided down mostly geographical lines, but they were these other folks sharing this place, but we didn’t see them except when they were hired folks or we came across them coming down from the balcony at the movie theater because they weren’t allowed to sit downstairs. But we didn’t think about it…yet.

They were there on the other side of town out of our mind until we started to grow up and wonder about that song, that children’s song at Bible school: Red and yellow, black and white; they are precious in his sight, Jesus loved all the little children of the world, and then we asked why. There were no good answers, only anger and fear embedded in righteousness expressed as a bad answer.

Then two cousins married two Indians, who never had heard of the words native American, and these men of the Lumbee tribe were good, loyal folks, even fighting in that next little war over there in Korea. And i loved those two guys who married my beautiful cousins and i wondered why we considered them different and why they lived on reservations.

But then it was time to move on, and i dreamed of the big cities, the big stadiums, the big big and starring there in my role of hero. And i dreamed of women loving me and marrying one for life with two kids, a cat, a dog.

And then…it didn’t happen.

The underbelly of this place too large to be a village too small to be a town began to reveal itself and the magical hero did not appear before thousands, but found out he had to work just like his folks told him and even then you could get whacked in the head if you played the game the way you were taught: you had to promote yourself, sell yourself to the highest bidder and then stab the bidder in the back so you could become the bidder and everyone else was the bidder, and you had to stand out, wear something outlandish, grow hair you had to take care of since you were different you had to be vain, and when you scored you had to do an act, a pantomime to show the folks you were cute, better than them, entertaining.

And it was true: this place too large to be a village and too small to be a town had existed for a only a small moment in that prism of time. And i was of it. i was an anachronism. And i had misperceptions. The world i long for really didn’t exist except for a glorious few of us in a prism of time and place non-existent before or after, here or there.

While thinking about it, i thought about what was: war, financial depression, hate, anger, brother against brother, greed and power winning over good sense and caring for others and the right thing to do, sides not caring about anything but their own interests, convinced they knew/know the right way for everyone when they weren’t/aren’t too good at doing what’s right for themselves. Hmm, sounds strangely similar. Oh yes, we’ve made progress. We live longer, we don’t have to do all of that hard word we did before, we eat healthier, we are more watched, monitored, sensitive, and politically correct is now a concern. We keep trying to make everything equal by endorsing the unequal. We know more and are less constructive because we know more. Children don’t play in the yards any more. They don’t have to handle bullies by themselves. They are monitored, coached, tutored to succeed, rather than to live well. Someone is always watching over them…like that is a good thing.

And the anachronism came to this conclusion: we are still okay. There are reasonable people who deal with people as individuals. If others try to take advantage, play the game to win at all costs, be self-centered, the reasonable ones give it up. Ain’t worth it. They know they can manage themselves and love and care and do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Been like that for eternity. Check it out.

Still, i would like to go back to that place too large for a village and too small for a town in that prism of time, where all i knew was goodness.

Like i said, an anachronism i am.

The Big Shift

The following was written a number of years ago and another version was published in my Lebanon Democrat weekly column shortly afterwards. Good memories:

SAN DIEGO, CA. – Several weeks ago, I had my truck’s air-conditioning repaired before a golf outing in the desert. Driving back, I recalled learning to drive a standard transmission.

Jimmy Jewell, my father, had a career as a mechanic in Lebanon. In 1920 when he was six, he stoked the wood-fired boiler of the mobile sawmill my grandfather, Culley Jewell, operated for Wilson County farmers.

Jimmy Jewell started working for Donald Philpot’s Ford dealership in Lebanon in 1933, located where McDowell Motor Company, owned by J.P. McDowell, later occupied the northwest corner of North Maple and West Main. . He later worked for Bob Padgett’s Dodge-Chrysler dealership until he went to work for Jim Horn Hankins at Hankins and Smith Motor Company on East Main in 1940.

In 1955, he and my Uncle, Alvin “Snooks” Hall started their automobile repair business. Bill Massey later joined them and the business became the Jewell-Hall-Massey Garage. I remember the Mobile “pegasus” above the storefront on West Main. In 1957, my father and his life-long friend, H.M. Byars bought into Jim Horn’s business. Hankins and Smith became Hankins, Byars, and Jewell.

My father, as most fathers do, taught me how to drive. He showed me the rudiments of standard transmissions, but he didn’t teach me how to drive a “stick” shift. I practiced in a used car he brought home on occasion. But it was difficult coordinating shifting with the clutch, and I pretty much gave up on the concept. My driving lessons were in my mother’s 1958 Pontiac Star Chief or in my father’s 1955 Pontiac, both automatics.

H.M. was responsible for me learning to drive a standard transmission. He really didn’t teach me, but he was certainly responsible. In Height’s 1960 spring break, about six months after I had turned sixteen, I was working at Hankins, Byars, and Jewell, mostly pumping gas, checking tire air pressure, and washing car windows.

One afternoon, H.M. came out and announced he had to pick up a Johnson Dairy milk truck and bring it back for repair. He asked me to accompany him. As we came out of the Johnson Dairy office, H.M. tossed me the keys, stating, “I know you can drive a standard transmission, right?”

As my parents can tell you, I was a bit stubborn and thought I could do anything well. So I acceded I could drive a “stick.” H.M. tossed me the keys and left without another word. I vividly recall getting in the seat and looking at the ominous gear shift rising from the center of the floorboard with a black knob on the end.

I was faced with a rather significant dilemma: start the milk truck, learn to shift on the fly, and drive back down the busiest street in town, around the square, and back up East Main to the dealership. Or I could admit defeat, call my father and have him come and get the milk truck.

As usual, I chose the worst option.

I bucked and stalled my way from West End Heights, past Castle Heights Avenue, and over the railroad tracks and onto the square. On the square to a symphony of bleating car horns, I stalled twice and bucked continuously, until I emerged on the east side and reached the shop.

Miraculously, the milk truck and I made it unscathed without wiping out one vehicle, pedestrian, or storefront. In fact, by the time, I got the vehicle to the service bay, I felt like I might have gotten the hang of driving a “stick.” I thought I was ready for a GTO. I don’t recall anyone agreeing, but I don’t recall any significant problems driving a standard transmission after that.

I was adamant about teaching both of my daughters to drive in a vehicle with a standard transmission. Both are admired by many of their friends because They can drive a “stick.” Both had cars with standard transmissions and appear to be glad, maybe even a tad proud, their father taught them.

When their grandfather started driving, it was a bit different. They didn’t have automatic transmissions, and they didn’t have drivers’ licenses. Jimmy Jewell was grandfathered when they began issuing those symbols of big government. It is a big shift from when he and I started driving and my daughters’ driving experience.

I’m glad they didn’t have to learn on a Johnson Dairy milk truck. I am also glad H.M. Byars made me learn in that way. It taught me a lot of lessons.

Random Thoughts on an Early Monday Morning

You might have read some of this stuff from me before. i don’t care.

Monday. Again, i awoke way too early, even for me. Don’t know why unless it’s become ingrained from my near ten years of Lebanon Democrat column deadlines. Of course, the sea, oh, the marvelous sea, is also ingrained even though my last time on a ship at sea was thirty-three years ago. That morning watch, the 04-08 where i would be awakened by a boatswainmate, the messenger of the watch at 0315 so i could get to the bridge and relieve the OOD by 0345 and feel the day stirring and smell the coffee and bacon and eggs aroma wafting up from the galley to the starboard bridge wing, and hearing the radio communications among the squadron ships begin the chatter, and seeing first light creep up on the horizon, and the pinkness and the freshness of the new day dawning, and the captain coming out to sit in his oversized and raised chair on the starboard side for his first cup of coffee of the morning and swapping hellos because there wasn’t much usually going on at 0600 in the morning and how the oncoming watch came up early, 0700, to relieve me so i get the last breakfast in the wardroom before officer’s call and quarters and the beginning of the work day when i would start to fade around 1000 waiting until the midday mess to skip and hit the rack for a NORP.

Oh yeh, this early stuff is still with me.

***

Regardless, once again this Monday early morning, my brain started in low gear and was rumbling in third. I couldn’t find the clutch before four in the morning. This oft abused brain refused to shift back to idle. Like my Mazda 3 hatchback, my brain has six forward gears, straight transmission…er, standard. Okay my car buff buddies, keep me straight here. It may be okay to write this early, but it damn sure ain’t okay to do research for a faulty memory. It’s Monday morning for Christ’s sake, too early to look stuff up.

 *   *   *

One thought, which has occurred before is i am one hell of a lucky man. I have had a really good life. Oh yeah, there have been some surprises, some downturns i wasn’t expecting. In fact, there are a couple still smacking at me today. That ain’t right, by the way; ain’t right someone at seventy-three should still have downturns. After all, dealing with all of the growing old, dealing with all the…i was going to be polite and say “stuff,” but no: dealing with all the other shit is right on. Old age illnesses, parts breaking down, stiffness, going to one doc or another what seems like at least every week. Watch friends grow old faster, have worse things go wrong. Like dying. Still don’t know how my parents made it to their late nineties, not because of their health. My father was an incredible specimen of good health. My mother had some serious problems for almost forty years. But they were troopers. The thing about them i find amazing is their dealing with all of their generation of family and friends leaving them behind. Man, that is tough. i must get better at that if i am going to be one of those outlasting the others.

*   *   *

Lying there this morning, i was reassessing what i’ve done. i do that often. Need to let it go. Move on. You know. It started with thinking about what a bad golfer i am, especially considering how much i play. Shouldn’t complain considering my age and the occasional good hole i have. Still do it, like all of the others…except maybe for Peter Thomas, the best golfer i’ve ever played with. He’s the one who taught me i shouldn’t bitch about my play, instantaneously or long-term unless i hit some 300 golf balls a day, every day, for more than a decade. Then i can bitch. Got a long way to go.

 *   *   *

Nah, i really haven’t done much. i had the potential somewhere back in the dark ages. Then i didn’t grow up. I remained just shy of five-seven. Stopped the vertical thing around junior high. Kept expecting to be six-two, 180. Didn’t happen. As most of you know, i have not grown up in other ways as well. Still, in spite of a checkered career for assessment, i made it to commander, and as i love to repeat, my last operational CO, Captain Frank Boyle on USS Yosemite gave me what i consider the ultimate compliment, calling me, not a seaman, not a sailor, but a mariner, something he and i knew at that stage of our time on ships was the real compliment (He was too, a mariner). Got to spend 14 out of 22 years on ships, nine or eleven, depending on the way you count ’em. i’ll take that even though i would go again if they still had steam ships without all of the GPS and computers they have today.

And i was a good sports editor at The Watertown (NY) Daily Times before that gig was cut short because of the need to take care of my family financially. Don’t regret it, but i did love it while i was in it.

Hadn’t made a lot of money. Don’t miss it, although i would like to make Maureen feel more secure and there are a bunch of people i would like to go and see. Maureen would like to go see places not seen before. i would like to go to old places (that aren’t gone or drastically changed) or to old friends, but money is a little to tight to cover all of those dreams. Still okay.

  *   *   *

i admit i’m a goofy guy, even brag about it. i really don’t do too many more goofy things than most folks, but i don’t mind my goofy antics being broadcast and am pretty honest about my goofiness. Don’t believe in fooling folks.

i don’t know where it comes from. My parents were great parents but they certainly weren’t goofy. Probably the depression and the war and religion of the time kept ’em straighter, non-goofy. Daddy loved to tell stories, even some on himself, but that was about it.

Perhaps, just perhaps, i might get my goofiness from my Uncle Bill Prichard, my mother’s youngest sibling and only boy. He could be real goofy, but man did he have a laugh. Like him, i might have become a  pilot for a war. Uncle Bill, he flew mustangs out of England. Man!

In Navy OCS, those aviators enticed me to join them in the air (SEALS did too; why, i don’t know), but i was a passable swimmer, not a real good one, and i wasn’t sure i could get through that requirement, so i demurred. But i also had had that at-sea moment, and the decision to go surface really wasn’t that difficult.

*   *   *

So i went to sea. If you don’t know, i am trying to write a book about that last operational tour. It’s about the first women as officers or enlisted to spend extended out of port time as members of a ship’s crew or wardroom. And of course, it’s about me. You see — and i may have told you this before as well — i loved the sea from the get-go. In the book, i included a letter i wrote to my wife of a month, Maureen, which began shortly after we left Mayport, Florida for an eight-month deployment to the Indian Ocean. The letter concluded about ten days later in the early morning of the day we stood into Rota, Spain. i bragged about communicating with the sea. Yeh, “bragged” is the right term. After all, i loved my new wife with absolute gusto (still do) and i wanted to impress her.

But yes, i did feel that incredible old lady, the sea, and i communicated. Perhaps that’s a little to mystical or hokey for many. But in 1963 on my third class midshipman cruise on the USS Lloyd Thomas (DD 764) (in the NROTC scholarship program from which i unceremoniously but no less dramatically left like a rock the next spring), i walked to the port life-lines amidships on the ASROC deck between the forward and after stacks. It was 2210 or thereabouts, after taps because the crew’s movie in the DASH hanger had been a long one. The wind was off the port beam and blowing the roar of the boilers from the stacks away from me. i could see the white foam rolling down the side of the ship. The bow wave was lapping at the sides. The sea was dark, the deepest dark blue that exists. The moon was on the port side. i stood there. To this day, i swear that lady, the sea, floated out and grabbed me, down deep in my gut, and i could feel her talking to me. i was hooked, even though i was too goofy to know it.

*   *   *

So i think yes, i have had a good lucky life and can deal with the bumps in the road when they keep coming even though i’m registered old and they shouldn’t hit me now. But you know what? That’s life. It ain’t, as my friend Dave Carey once told a group of senior officers in our seminar, it  ain’t easy. Life isn’t supposed to be easy. It would be damn boring if all went smoothly, everything went our way. We are supposed to deal with problems cause humans, in case you haven’t noticed, all of them, cause problems. It’s an adventure. Deal with it. Laugh at it.

So now, i ain’t working…well, i ain’t formally got a job. So what am i supposed to be doing? i think giving back is my job. i want to tell those younger than me what happened, what was different, and how we/me dealt with it right or wrong, so perhaps, just perhaps, they can learn from my good moments and my bad. Listen to my views of the world and what it has been and what it should be and what it hasn’t been, what it is, and what it shouldn’t be.

But it seems i’m over the hill. Those younger dudes don’t listen to me. Too old. Oh, they nod their heads like they heard me. But they weren’t listening really. They just keep on their way, probably mumbling about that crazy, goofy old man rambling about the good ole days, even some of those good ole days were pretty damn lousy, just like theirs will be. Sort of feel patronized in a way. Oh, many folks my age or near it, they read and agree…as long as it doesn’t cross their locked and loaded, lines in the sand, refusing to budge views of the world and all of their opponents, demons really.

So i’ll just do my thing and hope, not optimistically, but hope a few folks might learn a few things from my ramblings and modify their way of doing things just a little bit for the better.

*   *   *

One sort of political comment, or cultural, or something. This must be prefaced by noting i don’t consider myself a racist or a bigot or prejudiced at all. There may be people who choose to think i am because of the color of my skin, where i come from, the way i talk. i know i cannot write anything here that even hints of disagreement with any political, religious opinion that won’t get slammed. i will point out when attending Vanderbilt basketball games from 1962 to 1964, which i did with amazing loyalty, every home game, without fail except that part about not studying on those nights and flunking out (one F, 14 D’s in four semesters, a record i think), but to the point, the pep band would play “Dixie” and the student body would stand and sing as almost one because there would be a half-dozen or so of me and my brothers who would remain seated, and when berated and denigrated by those highbrow rednecks around us, we would proclaim we didn’t root for losers.

But i do feel the need to make an observation about this take down the statue thing. To leave them there and recognize it was a much different time in history. There were many things wrong and we couldn’t do it right so we had this awful war among brothers, white and black as folks call us i think wrongly and killed each other with abandon. We started on a path of improved but not perfect equality. There were clowns then and clowns now who were too damn selfish to admit equality was just that. But doesn’t destroying statues, taking down crosses, defiling others symbols of belief, all of that kind of thing, seem just a bit like ISIS, Al Qaeda, even Hitler, destroying history. i mean, it really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. i’ve got my sea i can see from my hilltop or dip my feet in if i drive about 15 miles or my memories, oh my memories. i’m probably not going to miss those statues in the South, but it does seem we are incapable of dealing with each other reasonably. It’s my way or the highway, it seems. Well, i don’t think anyone is going to take my highway. Navy steam ships are gone. Sportswriting the way i lived it is gone too. Religion, that ole time religion, good ole Methodist stuff, seems to be gone also. Tolerance, understanding, communicating, compassion is only on one side of the line or the other. Seems like that golden rule, you know “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is passé, or even obsolete.

Sad.