Minceys Musings

Your name is?

The famous quote “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet” is from Act II Scene II of William Shakespeare’s enduring play Romeo and Juliet. Juliet speaks this to Romeo as she tries to reason with him that Romeo’s family name has no bearing on their love.
Perhaps that was true for Juliet, but it sure seemed to matter to her own family, the Capulets. It also seemed to matter to the principal players in the Hatfield and McCoy feud that has become historic in United States lore.

Pencil Sharpeners, Slides and Rollercoasters

I recently conducted six professional development sessions on homelessness in a single day. I was sent the written comments from the evaluation forms, and I am thankful that they were all positive. At least I assumed they were. From what was visible on the email, it appeared one person wrote, “Ronnie is the dud” (the printed version of the email did read “dude”). Thank goodness for the power of positive thinking!

All Tied Up

Recently I went to a local pizzeria to purchase the evening’s supper. My hair was in pretty bad need of cutting, so bad in fact that it looked slicked down because it didn’t have time to dry in the morning before I dressed for work. The young girl behind the counter said that I looked so professional except for my wild tie and slicked back hair. She asked, “Are you a car salesman?” I replied, “No, worse, I work for the school system!”

Cadillac Style

On Sunday morning, I get up and get ready for church. I have gathered all the materials I will need for the day on the Saturday night prior—clothes, Sunday school booklet, Bible and commentaries. This way, I don’t have to rush to get things done and can sleep a little later than would otherwise be possible. All I have to do is get up, shower, shave, put on my clothes, and grab my Sunday school bag before heading out the door.

Stranger Dangers

I recently came across the question, “When is the last time you did something nice for a stranger?” There are indeed instances when we encounter strangers who have legitimate needs, but the bad experiences that we have with strangers who do not seem to be “on the level” make us cautious when dealing with all people unknown to us.

Most of us were probably taught as children to not talk to strangers. This was sound advice from our parents to prevent us from being harmed or kidnapped, and I believe in my case it once possibly saved my life.

Learning Lunches

Ronnie Mincey

A certain amount of misadventure can come from dining in public, especially if that public meal is as a student in elementary school.

Recently I was talking with my good friend Chip Brown. We recalled the time when we were having lunch in seventh grade at Maynardville Elementary. In those days, ketchup and mustard were in plastic bottles in the middle of each table. (Even vinegar for the spinach was in glass bottles on the table! Just imagine, spinach for lunch!) I haven’t seen this in a school in decades, and probably in great reason this is due to our misadventures at Maynardville Elementary.

Fancy Fare

Ronnie Mincey

When I was growing up, almost every meal I ate was at home or school. At home, our fare was usually pinto beans, potatoes, and corn bread with onions. One thing that without doubt developed my taste buds was Mother’s liberal use of Lay’s Clover Leaf® Brand Pure Lard.

If only once more I could go back through time and sit down to one of Mother’s meals. I would want it to be spring so we could have killed (“kilt”) lettuce, soup beans, fried taters with fresh garden peas, cornbread, and a good glass of store-bought buttermilk to wash it all down.

Leaving Leaves

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Thirty

Leaving Leaves

Leaf After Leaf Drops Off

Leaf after leaf drops off, flower after flower,
Some in the chill, some in the warmer hour:
Alive they flourish, and alive they fall,
And Earth who nourished them receives them all.
Should we, her wiser sons, be less content
To sink into her lap when life is spent?
--Walter Savage Landor

Doggone, Does it Make You Cry?

Picture of Dr. Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty-Seven

Sometimes I think I am a most hard-hearted person. Things that seem to bother other people just don’t seem to affect me emotionally. Sometimes I think I am a little like Mr. Spock on Star Trek—non-emotional. I do wish if I had to be like Mr. Spock I could have access to more of his logic!

But there are things that can make even this hard-hearted sinner cry. I figure if they can get to me they can get to anybody that has any feeling for others at all.

The Agony (But Where’s the Ecstasy?)

Picture of Dr Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty-Six

I was reading in a back issue of the Reader’s Digest about a man who was dating a woman. Although he had dated her for several months, a surprise was in store. He called her home and her son answered. When the man identified himself and asked to speak to the boy’s mother, the son asked if he was Tom number one or Tom number two. There was not in the future a need for anyone to ask.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Picture of Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty-Five

I had the privilege of seeing several of my elementary school classmates during the past month. One of them, my friend Kevin White, reminded me of a circumstance that happened in third grade.

Ronnie and the Desk

I had the privilege of seeing several of my elementary school classmates last week. One of them, my friend Kevin White, reminded me of a circumstance that happened in third grade.
That was the year we received new reading books. We began the year with a book titled Looking Ahead. This book was the first of two third grade reading books from the same series as the famous (at least to my generation) Tip and Mitten. I loved that series—even the books had a special smell, and the pictures were inspiring in ways that I cannot explain. The first story in that book was “Eddie and the Desk”.

Where I Believe I Am From

One of the professors in my doctoral program at Lincoln Memorial University once gave us an assignment entitled “This I Believe About Educational Leadership”. I am thinking there is a website or blog called “This I Believe” to which people can publish their beliefs on certain topics. The importance of the assignment was to teach that what we believe guides our life decisions and impacts not only our own but others’ lives for better or worse.

Carbon Copies

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty-Two

I received an email a few days ago that referenced some of the phrases that my generation adopted as standard language that everyone in that time could understand. One of the phrases identified was “carbon copy”. The explanation of the origin of the phrase was: “Before photocopiers were a thing, copies were made by sliding a piece of carbon paper between an original document and blank paper. It’s also what ‘cc’ means in your email.”

You Big Dummy!

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year One, Week Twenty-One

With fondness and joy I watch certain episodes of one of my favorite childhood situation comedies (aka “sit coms”) Sanford and Son. Fred Sanford knew better than most—there are dummies, if not under your own roof, out there somewhere!

I Go to the Garden, Alone

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Twenty

A few days ago, I was eating with some colleagues from work at my favorite restaurant in the world, the 33 Diner. One of these friends was enjoying hearing me repeat some of my stories. (It amazes me that there are those who enjoy hearing my twice, thrice, or over told tales!)

I was wrapped up in myself enough that I must have gotten louder than maybe I should have, for as I was leaving an elderly lady asked me, “Are you a lawyer or preacher?” I told her neither, that I was a teacher.

Not Pretty, But Honest

Ronnie Mincey

Mincey’s Musings
Year Two, Week Nineteen

In one of my favorite episodes of Bonanza, Hoss Cartwright is in jail, having been arrested for stealing a horse of a murdered man suspected to have had lots of money. The townspeople keep asking Hoss what he did with the money. With increasing frustration, he tells them he knows nothing about any money. In one scene, the preacher asks Hoss if he can help him in any way.