A busy day, the end of a busy week. We have been with all the “little” Grandbabies at different times this week. They are tiny tornadoes…but they are our babies. Eli, Rue, and Evie. I couldn’t love them more.

They remind me that once upon a time, my other grandchildren were also babies, but are growing up and out of our “sphere of influence” My first Jessica Brown is a beautiful young woman now, in faraway Huntsville most of the time, working hard on her new job. Auttie Bowers my Blondie, is a junior. Going to the prom tomorrow (praying for no storms) Tyler Holland is married and working hard on the road. I passed my 16 year old Chelsea Holland out playing tennis this afternoon with Max, and had to stop my walk and try to show off. Then there is my little teeny bopper Olivia Livy Brown who is getting prettier every day. I know I’m an embarrassment to them, but just can’t help it.

I raised my three children the best I could. There were hard times, financially and emotionally. I commuted to work out of town all my working years, and had less time for my kids than I wanted with them. I bet I have put in at least a million miles between 1978 and 2011…my “driving” years. I got to know Ludlow Porch, NPR, and Neal Boortz really well over the radio airwaves. I listened to more country music than a Nashville producer.

My wife was with the kids more when they were little. I know that her presence helped them tremendously. Their Grandparents were a big part of their life, especially my “larger than life” Daddy.

My kids are my friends now, although I am never beyond still giving “parental” advice and serving as a gravel hauler, furniture mover, fashion supplier, taxi service and much more…all very willingly albeit grumpily sometimes. There is nothing I wouldn’t do…well almost nothing, for them. They know it. My family has always come first.

Brings me back to the babies. The grandchildren of our “old” age. They will never remember Paula and I as anything other than the gray headed grandparents. Evie especially, and hopefully a brother or sister for her in a few years. Perhaps they will remember some wisps and whispers of our caring for them. And I do care for them….all of them, child and grandchild.

Many, many years ago I decided I would probably never have a profession as such, other than being Dad and Papa. I think it was the right choice.

Memories of Eighth Street

Lately, “for no particular reason” as Forrest Gump would say, I have been uncharacteristically sad. I wish I knew why.

Things have been going ok, have been going relatively well actually.

I was cleaning out some things at my rented storage building today and found an old photo album which had been misplaced. It had photos of my grandparents and my folks, my Aunts and Uncles…many long dead now. One of the pictures was of Mom and Dad, and Uncle Pinky and Aunt Sis sitting at a card table playing Rook….had to be about 1974.

They used to get together quite often when we lived on 8th street, since they lived right next door. We boys and girls who lived on 8th street also would get together almost every day and play. God, there were a bunch of us there in the 60’s.

Lemme see: Me and Mike. Rickey Bowers, Mike and Lynn Brown, David Hayes and his three sisters, Debo Spears, Barbecue Ingle, Stanley Crawford, Russell Fox, Hiram Sizemore, Alan Butler (sometimes at his grandparents) the Butler girls…three of them, sisters. There was Kenneth Treadaway, (Coway drive…as was Debo) and sometimes Ken Stephens would wander over from 7th street. Did I forget anybody? Probably.

It was precisely this time of the year, every year, that we were getting geared up for summer. Baseball and swimming. Fishing, golf, and nightly games of “freedom”. Around the clock monopoly marathons at Hiram’s house. Guitar playing. Spending the night at somewhere else besides home.

Waiting for the the rolling store and the ice cream truck. Reading comic books all day long. Our lives back then was a combination of “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Wonder Years”.

We, the white middle class kids of America growing up in the fifties and sixties, had mostly wonderful lives. Sure, there were problems. But we tend to forget those. We tend to dwell on the good for the most part. It’s just how humans think. Why else would a woman ever have more than one child?

So I suppose my recent wave of sadness is simply nostalgia biting me in the butt. It’s missing the people who are gone, and the times we had.

But…I’m still looking forward to tomorrow…and this week. My little grandchildren, my big ones, my kids. All of my family. We make new memories now for a new generation of our humanity to one day be nostalgic about. It’s the way of life.

And that’s how it should be, although it’d be good to play a game of Rook…or even “Magic” again…while there’s still some time.

Polishing my Shoes for Easter-2012

Last week before Easter Sunday, that I would polish my black shoes before going to church today. They were scuffed up something bad. You see, I’m not much of a shoe polisher anymore. There probably hasn’t been a bottle of black shoe polish in this house for YEARS!

I brought my shoes out to my chair, and opened up the bottle and put them on the nice little blue rug that sits in front of my chair. I took the top off of the polish, and opened it up. Suddenly, somewhere in the back of my head I heard a voice say:

“You better put down a piece of newspaper on that floor before you do that!” It was the voice of my Dad…coming out of so long ago. You see, my Dad believed in putting that newspaper down on the floor as you didn’t DARE get a drop of shoe polish on my Mom’s clean floor. He also believed in polishing your shoes EVERY week, especially since we generally had only one pair of shoes at a time for both school and weekends. Scuff ’em up during the week, and polish ’em up on Sunday morning before Church. Every Sunday morning, for so, so many years. After I grew up, I grew out of the habit.

I thought about getting up and grabbing a piece of last weeks Summerville News, an appropriate usage for that periodical after a first read. Nah…I said, I’ll be careful. I got through the fist shoe just fine…looking good. As I started on the second shoe the little foam top wasn’t putting out as much polish as I though it should so I pushed down on it. Mistake!! It slooshed out and about half off it ran off the shoe onto the rug. I finished polishing the shoe and went and got a rag and some Windex and did the best I could to get it up. Left a little black stain despite the best I could do.

I thought about getting some carpet cleaner, but I’m just gonna leave the spot there. Every time I look at it I might just remember to do what Daddy tells me the next time. You might be able to ignore your “raisings” but you never forget ’em.

I mentally wished a Happy Easter to my Dad and Mom….I will seeya’ again someday, somehow, and thanks for all the advice you gave me for those 60 years we were together in this life!!

Is There Hope for our World


Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is to be thankful for one more day. Then, most of the time during the day I find myself being thankful for simple moments. They are the type of moments that each of us should have, and should treasure.

The kissing of the baby’s neck. The hug from the little kids. The taste of something decent to eat, the smell of coffee, the song which touches your heart, and brings a tear to your eye. The glance from a familiar eye which says “I love you”.

Those are real moments, and when it all is considered, those moments are all we have. The past is gone, with every breath we take, it is fleeing swiftly by us. The future is simply conjecture. We plan on doing things which will happen “in the future” but it’s not certain.

A lot of times during the day, especially now, at my age, I find myself questioning life. Uncertain life, and if I travel outside my little venue, either physically or via this computer or any other electronic means, I become aware of things which I cannot understand.

I can’t understand the hate which has resurfaced in our country. I cannot remember a time in my life, except for perhaps in the 50’s or early 60’s when hatred was so wide spread and naked for all to see. I never thought to ever see a time when a swastika was burned openly in order for people of one race to intimidate people of other races or creeds. There is no love in that act, only hatred. There is nothing to be gained by that act, only loss. There are only lost moments in doing something of that nature. There are only lost chances at being able to live together in harmony at those moments. There is nothing Godly happening there. There is nothing divine happening there. There is absolutely no love being exhibited there. There is no sense in it. There is not use in it. There is nothing to be gained by it, other than one moment of the searing satisfaction that an orgasm of hatred can bring. It is ugly, and is the antithesis of everything that anyone who claims a religion of any kind can muster.

We human beings have so very little time on this planet, and hatred is a total waste of that time.

When and if I wake up in the morning, I will again be thankful for the day…..for the moments which fill that day. I’m going to continue to love. I do not, and cannot believe however, that by staying silent anymore about the bad things which are going on, I am doing what is right. I will fight hate, although I will do it in my own way, and I hope and pray that everyone else who hopes for a better world for our children and our grandchildren will do the same. Forcefully, but peacefully… perhaps we can prevail and a better world will be the result.