I remember well the first time I suffered a back problem. I was a teenager, probably about sixteen, and I was at the home of Marie, my youngest sibling on my father’s side. I was playing with her son Billy, my nephew, who was a few years younger than me. Other of my nieces/nephews/Billy’s cousins might have been there, but I only recall for sure the two of us.
The Union County Public School System lost one of its very best teachers to retirement this year. Not only was Ms. Kerrie Scruggs a wonderful educator, she was a caring person and good friend. Ms. Kerrie’s husband Steve wrote a book, and my fellow Gideon brother gave me a copy. The book explained why Steve’s father always ate a good lunch at work. I’ll return to that thought shortly.
One of the best favors parents can do for their children is to take them to the dentist very early in life. This prevents so many problems in the adult years.
We are told that teeth are meant to last for a lifetime. That doesn’t mean that periodic maintenance is not necessary. Just like houses, teeth have to occasionally be cleaned and taken care of to prolong usage.
I met with Lisa Carter, the fine principal of Maynardville Elementary School, last week. She was on the phone when I arrived, so I had a few moments of leisure to look around her office. On the wall directly across from me was a saying—“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
When I was a “tiny twig”, before I became a “bent branch” (or a “twisted trunk”), I owned a handful of records. Only a few of those were Christmas records, but one of the records advertised a Charley Pride album “Christmas in My Home Town”. I had one Charley gospel album, and I for years wanted his Christmas album. In my adult life, I was able to get my copy of “Christmas in My Home Town”. As irony often dictates, when we want something and don’t have it, there is a void. When we get what we want, it sometimes comes to us multiple times.
For no apparent reason at all yesterday and today, my mind wandered back to memories of my brother, J. C. Truthfully, I think of him often, most probably daily if truth be told.
Particularly in the days of my early childhood, J. C. (James Clyde) Mincey was in many respects very much like Archie Bunker. (Oh, younger generation, Google and learn!)
J. C. was probably rougher than Archie in the days of his own youth, but I wasn’t around for that.
I signed the many papers required to buy my house on May 1, 1991 and moved that weekend. My colleague Deanie Carver used her pickup truck to help me move several boxes of books (of course, these important items were first to be moved). The late Adrian Shoffner and Rev. Joe McCoy helped me move the household furnishings. Preacher Joe has never forgotten the ordeal moving that upright freezer into the basement turned out to be. I felt so guilty that I didn’t go to church that Sunday, but I couldn’t find my dress shoes in time to get ready!
This very day I received the following statement in my email:
Every Southerner knows that tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; that scrambled eggs just ain’t right without Tabasco, and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
There has been since the beginning of American history a distinct difference between the northern and southern parts of our country. Many of these differences are God ordained, such as the geographical features. Allow me to provide a very simplistic view.
There are designations used to denote time to help keep historical events in perspective. There is B.C., B.C.E., and A.D. In the beginning of attempting to label events in historical time perspectives, people counted years by such things as Greek festivals or Roman emperors. Old Testament scripture alludes to this practice (e.g., “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD . . .: Isaiah 6:1 KJV). As people converted to Christianity in the New Testament era, they wanted to count their years by Christian events.
I would venture that most people at present agree that the world’s condition is troublesome. There is a lot with which to be concerned, though not everyone’s concerns are in agreement. It seems to become harder and harder with each passing day to agreeably disagree with our friends and acquaintances.
But there is comfort in those things that do not change. I am by nature a traditionalist, and I have little (in some cases, no) patience for change. Unfortunately for those like me, it seems everything changes. Yet there is comfort in those things that stay the same.
A few weeks ago I left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school— Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum.
“It’s hotter’n seven hells in this blamed hayloft,” Jay Harvey said.
“That sun’s a beatin’ on that tin roof. I bet it’s a lot cooler down on the barn’s dirt floor,” Clark said.
“Yeah, and a sight more like to be caught hiding out down there, too,” Hen said. “How long we gonna stay up here, Jay Harvey?”
Last week’s submission left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school—Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum. We’ll join them in their misadventures once again soon, but inspiration has taken me on another path for this week.
t was March, 1939. John Clark Mosley set out to school that first day of first grade for the second time in two years with his brother (and best friend) Bobby Henry. “Hen”, as everybody in Tatum Holler called him, was for the most part a quiet, reflective child. He was a veteran of White Deer School, having spent two years already in the first grade, once when he was five and again when he turned six.
It’s in the Head!
(or Is It?)
As I write this article, next week will be Thanksgiving. I am thankful, among many things, for opportunities and health to share meals with good friends and coworkers. One of the greatest honors for me is to be invited into someone’s home for a meal or be bought a meal in public. It is also a great honor to be allowed to purchase meals for friends. I have never purchased a meal for anyone that the kindness wasn’t returned many times over.