Minceys Musings

Write It Right

When I on occasion have the opportunity to look at documents from the past, there are times that I am impressed with the penmanship written by those who have long since departed this earth.

What's Your Sign?

Last week I shared about various signs that have caught my attention throughout the years. Today I continue with that thought.
Several years ago in the Sunday morning service at Loveland Baptist Church the elderly, esteemed Rev. Oliver Wolfenbarger stood and announced his text. It was the same text he had preached on the week before. He said, “I know what you’re thinking—poor ol’ Wolfenbarger, he’s losing his mind, can’t even remember that was what he preached about last week.” He continued, “I know this is the same text I used last week, I just didn’t get through with my message. And I’ll tell you something else. I’m just about as crazy as you all think I am.”

“Bass Ack’ards”

I’m sure most people have at one time or another in their lives heard of a book titled Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. It was published in 1992, and is purported to be the ultimate guide to help men understand the opposite sex.
Let me share something with you. I took a class called Marriage and the Family when I was an undergraduate at Lincoln Memorial University. I made an “A”. I have also read the aforementioned book, long before I got married. Neither experience taught me one thing that I have found useful in my own married life.

Pearls Dissolve In Vinegar

I was speaking the other day with one of my nieces. As our conversation progressed, I shared about a particular person who always seems able to irritate me. My niece informed me that this person was my “sandpaper”. Perhaps there is a connection here with the phrase “rubs me the wrong way”. I am grateful that there are few people who have this effect on me, and I hope that I don’t have that effect on many people.


There is a story in my family of an in-law (or outlaw) who stole so many new pairs of shoes from K-Mart that he was banned for life from entering any K-Mart store. I have heard of another reputedly banned from shopping at a certain thrift store chain due to changing of price tags on the merchandise.

At Last

In last week’s article I wrote about “firsts” in life. Also important in life are the “lasts”.
The Scripture records in Matthew 20:16 (KJV): “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” I have over the years attended many meetings and church services. When presenters at meetings or preachers during sermons utter the word “finally” or another similar expression, it seems to have an effect on the audience or congregation. It seems if not another word in the entire presentation excited interest, that one word or expression indicating the end is near breathes new life into a weary group.

Feels Like the First Time

I was recently amused to read the following sentence in a communication from the Tennessee State Department of Education: “Tennessee is preparing to launch its third search in two years for its first superintendent over statewide school turnaround work.”
Honestly, if my wife had been required to conduct three searches for two years to find me one push lawnmower to trim my grass, my yard would have lots more weeds than it did after our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

The Older I Get

There once was a man who said he was going to have his patience tested. (I was positive from his demeanor that he would test negative.) I have been told that I have the patience of Job, but it seems that this year in particular my patience has been pushed to its extreme outer limits on a few occasions. Perhaps this comes as a natural part of the aging process. Having never been in my upper 50s before, I have no frame of reference.


The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God gave the first man and woman only one commandment. They could eat of all the trees of the Garden of Eden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had a very good reason for this. Before they ate the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were innocent like children, not knowing that anything was wrong.

Push Ups, Slip Ups and Slip Outs

Sunday seems to be the day for travel curiosities in hero Union County, at least for me. A few Sundays ago on my way home from church I saw a man standing at the intersection of Ailor Gap Road and Maynardville Highway (aka Highway 33, State Route 33, Main Street, Maynardville Highway). This man was holding a sign, and as the light was green I didn’t get to read it well, but it did make reference to the Bible.

What's in Your Pocket?

There is a commercial for a credit card company that asks, “What’s in your wallet?” I could take some time to tell you, but I’ll let you in on a clue—it’s not money. Instead, I will tell you what is, or at least what used to be, in my pocket.
Which pocket, you ask. Let’s start with the right pants pocket. In one of my doctoral classes at Lincoln Memorial University we were assigned to share the contents of our pockets, but not our identities. From those contents, we were then supposed to try to determine what we could about the owner.

Just Say That to My Face!

I looked at Facebook today in a way I never have before. I looked at only the first ten posts that popped up from the “friends” in my current algorithm. I safely (hopefully) assume that what a person takes time to post is important to them. Personally, I rarely if ever post anything. I am content to occasionally comment on what my Facebook comrades choose to post.

Is there a fireman in the house?

Just as surely as a purple finch is crimson, the stories I share with you in this article are true to the best of my ever-aging memory.
I was probably about 12 years old. I was visiting with my sister Ruby’s family at her house in East Knoxville. Ruby was actually my half-sister, the oldest daughter and second child from my father’s first marriage.
Ruby’s husband was Alfred John “Buddy” Foulks, Sr., a captain with the Knoxville City Fire Department. They had four children, though the first three were older than me, grown and living on their own.

Do You See What I See?

I don’t know a lot about the Canary Islands, other than that they were named not for birds, but for dogs. You guessed it, I had to do a Google search. Per that search, I found that “the name for the islands actually came from the Latin term for the island, Insula Canaria, meaning ‘island of the dogs’.”
I think a trip to the Canary Islands might make a lovely vacation. I am sure there would be many tourists that would indeed be sights to see. But one does not have to go to the Canary Islands to find interesting, entertaining people to observe.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

I heard a story on the radio on my way to work this morning that is worth retelling. It seems there was a wife who was looking at pictures on her husband’s phone. Who knows where the husband was while this was occurring? Perhaps he was mowing the yard. Maybe he was in the shower. The wife was outraged that her husband of so many years secretly had pictures of this young female on his personal phone. This was obvious evidence that he was being unfaithful to her. When the husband made his appearance, a bitter confrontation followed.

“Oh, the snakes crawl at night, that’s what they say”

Who would ever have thought that “catgut” comes not from cats, but from the natural fiber found in the walls of sheep or goat intestines, and sometimes from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys! Additional research will inform that catgut is used to make strings for musical instruments.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that her sign under the Chinese zodiac, according to the date of her birth, was the dragon. It listed her most negative quality as that of being “stubbornly independent”. She questioned whether this was a negative quality.

Just Froggy!

Ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer, or so the old saying goes. It would seem logical that the Hundred Years’ War lasted 100 years, but actually it lasted 116 years. All of us are not Vulcans, and logic doesn’t always work, Mr. Spock.
A question with a less obvious answer might be: What kind of horse did Joe Cartwright ride on Bonanza? The correct answer: a pinto!

Always in Jeopardy

Let me begin this article with a bit of trivia—This man was the original host of Jeopardy before Alex Trebek. (Answer: Who was Art Fleming?) Correct.
One of my earliest memories of watching television was watching Art Fleming host the original Jeopardy. If you search Google, you can find more information on Art Fleming, and you can watch clips of the original Jeopardy game show on YouTube. I just finished watching one. It is interesting to see how the show functioned so well in the 1960s and 1970s without a lot of the modern effects that the show presently has.

Inside Looking Out, or Outside Looking In?

If you’re like most people, most of the time you definitely want to be in the “in” crowd. There you’re accepted, adored, idolized, and never alone.

That is, you’re never alone until your thinking starts to depart from the “status quo” of your “in” crowd. Then you risk becoming an outcast, as most groups struggle with a free thinker within their “in” crowd.