If I had gone to kindergarten, I would have received a “U” for unsatisfactory under the heading of “Shares Well With Others.” Since kindergarten had not yet been invented in my school district in 1959, I had to wait until first grade for that damning “U” to be bestowed upon me. As a middle child, I should be good at sharing. Unfortunately, I am missing the sharing gene as well as the hair styling gene. If you see a selfish person with messy hair it’s probably me.
Hearing the dry brown corn rustling outside reminds me of my glorious career in agriculture. The career part consisted of manually removing the tassels from six out of eight rows of corn. The glorious part consisted of being promoted to crew chief which meant I had the awesome responsibility of counting the correct six rows. It was heady stuff. I come from a very small town where there is no fast food, no stores, one church, and three bars. One church to three bars seems to be about the going ratio. Anyway, one of the few jobs available to ambitious young people, and by ambitious young people I mean teenagers who are desperate for gas money, was to hire out to a local hybrid corn company to do the aforementioned de-tasseling. The job paid the munificent sum of one dollar and 86 cents per hour. That hour and every hour was spent walking up and down seemingly endless rows of corn, yanking tassels right and left. This job had many benefits. Oh, not medical or dental or a 401K. Heck, we were migrant workers who didn’t have the gumption to migrate. The benefits amounted to getting a great tan before a great tan was found to be bad for you. Sun block with SPF-anything had not yet been invented. Cellulite HAD been invented and we were savvy enough to recognize a tan improved the look of even this. The job also offered the opportunity to have minute field creatures burrow under your skin, resulting in the most appalling bumps and rashes. The bumps receded, the rashes went away, and the tan faded. What remains are the wrinkles. And, of course, the cellulite but that’s another story, no less tragic.
Back in 1972, I was a junior at Troy High School, driving around town in my Volkswagen Beetle, pretty much feeling like I owned the world.
The election finally is over … well, kind of over. Who knows how long the president will continue to challenge the results and Democrats and Republicans will continue to call each other nasty names, which always is a good way to find an agreement.
I first met Al Anderson as a junior in his high school history class back in 1972. After the first day, my fellow students met in the hall and we told each other, “Wow. This is going to be different.” It wasn’t just that Al seemed to know everything there was to know about history, it was his enthusiasm. It’s not easy making a crowd of teenagers get excited about history, but Al did it.
The recent political debates, rallies, and Senate hearings for potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett should have been a dream come true for every social studies teacher and college professor in the country. It is not every day that students have an opportunity to watch history unfold before them, and what a civics lesson this was!
Dear friends, you have blessed my days so richly! I am blown away by all the cards, get well wishes, and prayers on our behalf. Imagine how I felt today when Daniel walked in with a stack of 78 cards!
As always, Thanksgiving has a way of getting minds geared toward things we’re thankful for. This year is no different, yet things just aren’t the same anymore. Much has happened in the past year.
First only a bit at a time, then suddenly, fall was here. For me, there is a sense of relaxation that goes with fall days. All the months of hard work in the scorching summer heat is past, and we’ve got flickering candles, cappuccino, and snow flurries ahead.
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