Category Archives: A Pocket of Resistance

A potpourri of posts on a variety of topics, in other words, what’s currently on my mind.


Tomorrow is one of those days again. i do not like, rail against institutionalized holidays honoring folks and things. i like to choose who i honor when and not be dictated into doing it on certain days. But hey, i am one of this crowd and would be even more out of place if i didn’t pay homage as dictated, although i try to ignore most. But one of those mosts is not tomorrow. No, not tomorrow. There are a certain bunch of people in my life whom i would never ignore.


There have been many of those wonderful women who are not mentioned here due to space limitations. There are my three aunts: Naomi Jewell Martin; Evelyn Prichard Orr; and Bettye Kate Prichard Jewell, the other mother to me and many others even though she never had children of her own. There is Nancy Orr Winkler Schwarze who was the first woman of my generation of Prichard children to have a child. There is my sister Martha and her daughter-in-law Abby. There is my sister-in-law Carla and her daughter Kate. And many others. Then, there are those who have been and are very close to me.

Blythe. She is a special mother. i am always thrilled to hear of her talk about her son, my grandson Sam. She’s doing this mother thing right.

Then there is this woman who has yet to have a child of her own, but is a remarkable second mother to many, many children. Sarah. She had special relationship with Sam, her nephew, much like my Aunt Bettye Kate with me (and others), that other mother.

And then there was mine. Estelle. She could be and often was tough with me, holding me to task. But i earned her need for being tough. Maureen often comments about how i must have been a handful for my mother. And not once, never, did i feel like Estelle did not have unconditional love for me, her daughter, and her other son.

Kathie. i can hardly write this without crying. Her love for her daughter and then her grandson, my daughter and my grandson, was never ending. Many of my decisions, including agreeing to a divorce, were based on knowing her unconditional love for our daughter, and knowing that love would make things all right…and they were. She left us too early, but her love is still around.

Obviously, i have saved this one to last. i failed in finding a photo of her, Sarah, and Blythe together. My organization in photographs is as bad or worse than my disorganization in all things. But she is the mother to both, second to Kathie in Blythe’s case, but unconditional for both, and for that matter Blythe’s husband Jason and our grandson Sam. She always brings joy to me when i watch her convey that love to her children.

All of these women are different in many ways. But there is one constant, a mind-blowing unconditional love for their children. The mother-child relationship has no boundaries when it comes to love. i feel lucky to be around that love.

May all of you mothers out there have a “Happy Mothers Day.” If anyone, any event or thing, deserves a dedicated holiday, it is you.

Bless you.

Frolicking in the Magic of Yesteryear, II

Just over. month ago, a dear friend sent me a package without notice. Judy Lewis Gray is one amazing woman. Incredibly beautiful, she is also well grounded, well thought, promoting the good in all of us.

Recognizing my interest in the connections of Lebanon past, she sent me the copies of The Lebanon Democrat her mother had saved.

i went back, back in a wonderful period of my life, pouring through the newspaper like i did on Thursdays through the first years of my life.

The first thing that struck me when i opened the package was how thrilled i was Judy would think of me as the one to receive this walk back to home years ago. The second thought was i am old enough for her and others to think i immensely enjoy rambling about the past. i am old enough and i do enjoy these trips.

Then, the old sports writer journalist kicked into gear. i was sadly awed by two things immediately. The old Democrat’s size was huge compared to today’s postage stamp papers. It measured 22 1/2 inches long and 17 1/2 inches wide. My San Diego Union-Tribune of now has the same length but is only 11 inches in width.

Even more shocking was realizing the amount of news that has disappeared from “news”papers.

The August 23, 1962 edition of The Democrat has 41 news stories on its first two pages. The news covered state issues as they applied to Wilson County and the remainder was local stories, many correspondents from various communities i’m pretty sure were contributing for nothing more than a byline.

As i recall, those Thursday papers ran about twenty-plus pages with about a half-dozen full-page grocery ads. So, some quick Jewell math suggests there were likely over 150 articles for reading pleasure. i suspect my math is faulty as usual and the total was likely much fewer.

Today’s San Diego Union-Tribune had eleven articles on the first two pages. They covered international, national, state and local news on 86 pages, but most of those were more ads and special features. Communities, unless something bad had occurred there had no place in the U-T as we call it.

And today, there was nothing, nothing close to the Route 7 column penned by correspondent Mrs. Wesley Thompson. If nothing else, Judy’s old papers corrected my search for Mrs. Thompson’s columns. For years, i had looked to retrieve them as “Route 9,” not “Route 7.” i will renew my search in earnest. You see, in 1970 when i was deployed carrying Republic of Korean troops to Vietnam and back, my grandmother would cut out Mrs. Thompson’s column. Knowing that i loved to read those stories, she would send them to me, usually arriving about a month late.

i pored over the Route 9 news, even though i wasn’t really sure then and have absolutely no idea now just exactly where RFD 9 was in Wilson County. Occasionally, my adored correspondent would mention Watertown. i guess it must have been southeast of Lebanon somewhere.

i learned who was visiting who from where and who had dined with whom. Ladies visited other ladies in the afternoon, and i even knew a few. A couple were planning to move to their home (new?) in Emory Gap before winter.

i learned about who was sick or who had died. Mrs. Thompson relayed her and Wesley’s sympathy (and perhaps Wilson’s too) for the cited bereaved family. One lady who had been ill was “much better.” i was glad. “Crinnie Edwards” fell while hanging tobacco and hurt his back. i hoped not badly.

And with every column, i immediately searched for news of “Wilson” of Route 9. Since the correspondent was “Mrs. Wesley Thompson,” and she never mentioned her husband, i deduced Wilson was the Thompson’s son. i further concluded he must have been a young single man in his late teens or early twenties who lived at his parent’s home and was part of the farming team. Wilson had to have been a saint.

Nearly every column told of Wilson’s deeds. In the weekly edition of August 9, 1962, “Wilson plowed corn and the garden for Mr. Wilson Baskin last Monday. In a later edition, which i have somewhere in my trove of deployment memories, Wilson helped another neighbor when the neighbor’s cows got out (in a hole in the fence, i presume). They rounded up the cows (and i’m thinking of my cowboys riding herd and getting them back to the pasture on that route 9 road) and mended the fences.

“What a man,” i think. i’d like to meet Wilson when i get back home. Never did.

And in this August 9 edition, our esteemed correspondent relates “The O’Possum, racoons, and ground hogs have been eating Edward Woodall’s corn. He has been successful in killing some of them and caught some by trap.”

Now folks, you don’t read anything like that in the newspapers nowadays.

* * *

And i could go on and on and on about the memories, these Lebanon Democrat newspapers of the 60’s has evoked. i intend to occasionally browse these treasures Judy sent me and list other articles that enchant me.

In Sassy Ward’s column “Teen Tales,” (Sassy, a.k.a. Sarah, Ward was my classmate and my co-star in the LJHS eighth grade play “The Sunshine Twins”) relates how my sister Martha attended a slumber party at Gayle Martin’s home on Spring Street along with Marjorie Lloyd, Lynne Martin, Gayle Walker, Judy Jackson, Kay Lucas, Judy Osborne, Tina Igou, Pam Austin, Jeanne Steele, Diana Davis, Evelyn Knight, Susan Huntsberger, Cheryl Woolard, Patricia Bland, and Jean George. Man, what a great bunch of girls. In another of Sassy’s columns, i attended a party at Sharry Baird’s home on West End Heights. i have no recall of that one.

And it would be bad journalism not to mention the editor. J. Bill Frame, was esteemed. His columns “Sense and Non-Sense” were thought provoking, informative, and interesting even now. He and Bessie Lee lived across from the street from us as well as their daughter Laura Lee until she married Glenn Mingledorff and the couple moved away to return years later. Marvelous, marvelous people.

* * *

As i mentioned, i shall return to these old newspapers, now crinkly and faded yellow, to live for a while in a past that no longer exists. i liked it then and enjoy visiting…and hope i make Mrs. Wesley Thompson’s “Route 7” column.

Thanks, Judy.


and just who is this man in time?
he is older than the wind;
he is younger than the breeze;
he is then; he is now;
but he never is what will be
because what will be is never what it was;
he is vast and deep as oceans;
he is as wide and high as the sky;
he is as small as the smallest pebble
in a mountain stream up high.

and just who is this man in time?
he does not make the headlines;
he does not wish for fame;
through all the struggles
through all the gaiety,
he just keeps moving
underneath, over and throughout the brouhaha
relentlessly demanding an obedience
from all who question his might.

and just who is this man in time?
he just keeps moving irrevocably along,
not speeding, not even changing speed
a slow freight train on rails to nowhere;
although the world and the creatures therein
keep changing because of him,
but not him;
he just keeps plodding along
no one, nothing can stop him,
not humans, not the world, not even the universe,
perhaps not even god,
or perhaps he,
this man of time and god are one.

late musing

he sits in his residence splendor
in the dark toward the turn of the day
his woman’s garden roses about the house
he muses with the muses of Zeus
to find the meaning of it all
wondering why
he should consider
irresolvable considerations
in the dark
of night and his life
with roses in the room
when the former years
were living with no such concern
running full bore towards nothing but
living, loving, getting it done
moving on
moving on
passing through life with passion
without musing
without concern
when it might have mattered
might have been
something, something
while now musing is
merely ruminations with the muses
in the residence splendor
in the dark of the room
toward the turn of day

Good Morning.

This morning, i thought about what “Good Morning” means…not just the definition.

Today began with a good morning.

Yesterday, our grandson, the grand Sam James Jewell Gander, turned sixteen. He was a bit grumpy as he wasn’t allowed to skip school (is that a new tradition started by fifteen years ago like “Mule Day” in Lebanon, Tennessee was a high school holiday, a tradition by some of the boys, including my father who might have been a ringleader with his buddies, H.M. Byars and Jim Horn Hankins, at Lebanon High School around 1934?). But it is a right for sixteen year boys to be grumpy. Perhaps the testosterone levels are kicking up. Although i am unwise and very disconnected to the current teenageism, i’m pretty sure the gamut of emotions running through a just-turned sixteen teenage boy, remain a controlling factor. Sam’s fine. He just turned sixteen yesterday. i’m proud of him…and his parents.

Yesterday, we played golf at Bonita Golf Club with the Toennies and shared an early supper there. Maureen is getting better and better. It’s fun to watch. i improved slightly from awful, and better yet, the old age biting of back and knees stayed away, hopefully a new trend.

Did i mention the Southwest corner weather was perfect for a late morning tee time? It was, cloudless with a slight breeze and temperatures in the high 60’s, low 70’s. Southwest corner spring weather. The drear of damp, cloudy, and chilly (for San Diego) apparently is finally run its course (the least wonderful of any Southwest corner winter i’ve experienced. We seemed to have missed the April-early May bonanza of perfect as May Gray has started early, which will lead into June Gloom. That’s okay. It’s seaport weather, and in spite of having to add and subtract clothing layers as the marine layer goes through its cycle, it is always comfortable.

And last night, my Padres beat Tommy Duff’s Cubbies. ‘Bout time, the gazillion dollar team came through.

Those things led into my appreciating the deeper meaning of good morning. i arose a bit later than usual, still early for my bride and turned on the kitchen light. The breakfast room looked like:

“Lucky,” i thought, “It’s a good morning.” The scene reflected my thoughts. The table was my great aunt’s. The secretary was my parent’s. The roses on the table and the orchid on the stand are Maureen’s. The arty cookbook is gift from Maureen’s brother. the teapot on the table is one Maureen got a while ago. The woven basket under the window is a Filipino wedding basket i bought during one stop at the Subic Bay Naval Base on Luzon. The Mexican sage outside the window is the menu for hummingbirds who breakfast with us. The flagstone path is to our patio sans top (my brother pointed out the silliness of calling it a “sitting area”). The secretary holds an old ink well from my parents, Maureen’s Dutch teapot and cookie jar. The secretary’s book shelves and drawers hold cookbooks, lots and lots of Maureen’s cookbooks and two of mine.

In short, this is the story of Maureen and me we enter into every morning.

When i have retrieved the paper, made the coffee, put up the dishes in the drying rack, and set the table, it looks like this:

Maureen’s prepares another wonderful breakfast. We dine, say hello to the hummingbirds, and read the paper, repeating the tradition of both sets of parents sans the newspaper (they both got the afternoon paper, the Nashville Banner and the San Diego Tribune). It is a nice connection for me a wonderful way to start a “Good Morning.”

And i think of everyone else who hopefully are having a good morning. All of the connecting stuff is great for us but not necessary. i just hope that as many as can are having as good a morning as we are, and those who can’t because of the conditions they are facing will soon be able to have a good morning as well.

Good Morning.