Minceys Musings

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.

The Giving, Taking Tree

On May 1, 2021 I will celebrate an anniversary. On that date, thirty years ago, I bought my house. And like a lot of us living the American dream, I owe more today on the principal balance than the original purchase price.

Big Brother’s Watching and Listening!

For those of us who were teenagers or young adults in the 1980s, it seemed, at least in retrospect, a magical time. Even the music of the 1980s was great. I was a freshman at Lincoln Memorial University in the spring of 1984. That was so long ago that the college academic year was divided into quarters, four instructional terms that lasted approximately ten weeks each. The shift to semesters, three annual instructional terms of approximately sixteen weeks each, started at some point before I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in 1987.

Flee the wrath to come

At some point during my high school years, I remember attending an assembly that seemed to occur on the spur of a moment. At least to my memory there was no announcement other than the one given for us to go to the auditorium.
I don’t remember if girls were present at this assembly. I do remember that Principal Joe Day introduced to us the speaker, a man with a common-sounding name. He turned out to be anything but common.
The speaker’s name was Jack Brown. He told us his life story that day.

Covered with a blanket

If you have friends who love to email great thoughts and turns of phrase, or if you are a Facebook junkie, you have undoubtedly come across some pretty interesting opinions about the year just about to end approximately 77 hours from the time I type this sentence.
The one that sticks with me the most at present is this: If you had to choose a drink to represent the year 2020, what would it be? Answer: Colonoscopy prep

A Critical Message

In so many cases, the best friends I have are those who give me books.
My good friend Linda Dyer Clevenger Welch gave me several old books a few months ago. One of them was an American literature book. I have been going through it for the past several weeks, reading those selections that perk my interest.
It seems that my favorite part of old literature books is the short story section. In the most recent I’ve scanned, I read short stories I have read many times over the years and some new to me, though they were written decades ago.

Pondering Piñatas

Have you ever felt like a piñata, and that everyone you meet is a stick? Or consider the opposite—have you ever felt like a stick and that everyone you meet is a piñata that needs the candy beaten out if it?

Every time I see a piñata I think of my sixth and seventh grade social studies teacher, Ann Crass. I think of Ms. Crass very often, especially during election years.

Thanks for Sharing the Ride of Life

I have always thought it my destiny to own a Lincoln. Car, that is. Yet it never quite seemed to work out for me.

It did work out for my sister Anna Mae, my mother’s only daughter. She once bought a beautiful four door Lincoln sedan that had belonged to a judge. I don’t remember the model, but I can see that car in my mind. It had a steel blue exterior, dark blue leather interior, and looked practically brand new. It had an electronic dash and air shocks.