Another First Edition.

“A day in the life of a writer.”

He awoke abruptly with an idea that he was sure would be a candidate for another bestseller. Glancing at the bedside clock that displayed 04:00 in red digital numbers, he fantasized about being summoned to the podium and receiving a Pulitzer Prize for literature.

This pondering was far from being unique in that it occurred with startling regularity whenever a creative effort was forthcoming. In fact, he had written, memorized and practiced his acceptance speech many times over. He was ready for his hour of glory.

However, being the realist that he is, he was aware that it would take at least a quart of 100 proof coffee to unscramble the thoughts in his head. With the coffee pot doing its thing; he attended to his toilet while making a weak attempt to find a suitable beginning to the story that would bring him fame and fortune.

And now, seated before the computer; his bleary eyes trying in vain to focus upon a starkly blank monitor screen.  However, the thoughts that were so vivid within his mind earlier completely eluded him, and yet; he refused to “call it quits.”

Giving up at the last minute has been; perhaps, the one reason that he never had to worry about traveling far and wide to sign hundreds of books for adoring fans.  “Today is different;” the little voice, in the back of his head reminded him.  “You’ll see!” 

Finally! “It came to pass.”  BUT:  Instead of the ‘tear-jerker,’ he anticipated; “It was a ‘Self-Help’er.”  

Oh; well: “You can’t win then all;” he mused:  So, here ‘tiz.    

“A TUMBLER FULL OF SODIE WATER”

How do you spell relief?  Heartburn (indigestion) has been around for ages. When I was a child, no family would be without a box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda.  Not only was it prescribed for heartburn by an LPM, (licensed practical Mom); it was also used to settle a nervous stomach, clean teeth, draw the fire from a burn, as well as being a necessity in the making of biscuits, (just a pinch, mind you).

Believe it or not, I even grew to like the taste and nothing could match the satisfying burp that it produced after eating certain spicy foods.  It still works after some eighty years.

I can even remember the precise dosage. Many were the times when I would marvel at my Grandfather consuming his remedy after a dinner consisting of such foods as cucumbers, peppers, etc.  He would open the large blade of his pocketknife; slip it into the opened box and the amount that would stay on the blade was the correct dosage.  A dipper full of water usually followed this.

This method was a little stout for me, since the undiluted soda seemed a bit much; therefore, I would put a teaspoon of the soda into a tumbler, (later referred to as a glass), about half full of water. Really, it was downright refreshing.

Our home was about two miles from the nearest store, and it was a rare occasion when we would be subjected to prescription medicines for minor ailments such as upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, etc.  For coughs and colds:  A teaspoon of sugar saturated with whiskey and an outing cloth coated with Vick’s salve pinned to the union suit over the chest sufficed. Those remedies still work (per a testimony from a daughter-in-law).

But for most of the run-of-the-mill disorders, there was nothing that could take the place of a big jelly jar (tumbler) of good old sodie water.

Not surprising is the fact that the need today is as great, or greater; with the innovation of such fare as pizza, chili, Italian and Mexican foods.  With the popularity of these foods expanding by leaps and bounds, my advice would be to invest in some shares of stock in the firm of ARM and HAMMER. By doing so, you just may become rich.

BUR-R-R-P-P.
Demijohn

 

Grandma Gear

“The more things change; the more they stay the same.”   “What goes around; comes around.”  “Just get in; I’ll drive.”

Of course, these are “old sayings,” but they have a ring of truth when it comes to the technology employed by the Automobile industry.  Surprising as it may seem to some, not all vehicles were originally equipped with four or even five forward speeds.

Neither did the buyer have a choice of standard or automatic shifting.  I suppose the closest to hands-free shifting was found in the Ford Model-T.

Located in the floorboard underneath the steering wheel were three diamond shaped pedals.  Only one served a dual purpose.  Depressing the left pedal all the way was neutral.  Releasing the pedal halfway placed the bands in the first, or most powerful mode and when completely released, the vehicle was in the fastest or high.  The center pedal served only as the reverse mode and the right pedal was the brakes.  A hand operated lever to the left of the drivers seat was the emergency brake.

Although shifting was accomplished with the feet, the throttle was located on the steering column and operated by hand.

Then came the Model-A.  The three pedals gave way to only a clutch and brake pedals. Shifting into three forward gears as well as reverse, was done by moving a rod protruding from the floor in the center and to the right of the driver.

Since trucks needed a lower, more powerful gear to move heavy loads, the reverse position was moved from the upper left of a figure, ( H ), to the right and down, by depressing a lever on the right side of the shift rod.. Most truckers called this the grandma gear.

Later innovations moved the shifting rod to the steering column where it remained for many years only to be returned to the floor in many of today’s hi-tech, and sports vehicles.  Various types of drives were experimented with over the years;  Overdrive; Hi-drive;  Power glide;  and finally five speed Manuel  and Automatic shifting.

The same round-robin could be applied to the seats.  Original bench-type seats gave way to bucket, to bench, and then, back to bucket.

Computers have taken much of the pleasure of driving from many of us who remember the days when driving a truck was the ultimate dream of a teenage boy.  Nothing can compare with the thrill of sitting behind the wheel of a heavily loaded truck; listening to the groan of the engine on a steep hill and knowing just when to double-clutch and shift into the grandma gear.

That was living at at the highest level for a teenager; ‘fresh out of the Cotton Fields.’  However, after numerous trips of loading and unloading freight; ‘Shifting into the ‘grandma gear’ was not nearly as much fun, as the first couple of times were.

Demijon

Automobile driving seems to come in three shifts.
#1. “Dreaming Of Shifting Into ‘The Grandma Gear;
#2.  “Can’t Wait To Drive That ‘Set Of Wheels, “With Four In The Floor:”
#3.   “I Dearly Love This Cruise Control!”        Dj

Even more words; that tax my weak mind.

Although I consider myself somewhat literate, I am never quite sure about the usage of some words. Knowing the correct context in which certain words are to be used has been a problem for me for much of my young life.

For instance: Does one stuff a pillow or accumulate a lot of stuff?

Is it correct to say that the Drill Sergeant was holding an electric Drill?

How about the notification that the damn Dam broke?

When someone works to write a novel, does the Publisher publish their Works?

In a dense forest, does the jilted lover sit under a Pine tree and pine?

Does one attempt to place an item in a new Place?

If tooth marks are discovered on a tool that drills holes, could one conceive that someone bit the Bit?

Would I be forever branded an imbecile if I said, “I saw, the Saw; saw the board?”

Is it possible for someone to get angry enough to sock a person with a Sock?

Young ladies are cautioned not to run or they would get a run in their hose.

The angry Ram tried to ram the trailer hauling the battering Ram.

As you can readily see, it doesn’t take much, to completely muddle my intellect. Just in case you were wondering; the above revelation is primarily why I can’t write, right! Right?
Demijon
“And you were thought You were the only one to be totally Confused!”    Dj.

 

Dreams

Yes; I remember when the days seemed much longer.  When Christmas was at least two years away, and it was an eternity until the weather became warm enough to remove shoes and feel newly sprouted grass between one’s toes. To spend time dreaming of all the things that heretofore had eluded us because we were still a child.

These are dreams of being grown up; having a job and most importantly, being allowed to do just as we pleased. Today our wish was to become a pilot and fly to foreign lands. Tomorrow we may want the exciting life of a cowboy and see justice done to the cattle rustlers.

Rescuing the fair maiden from the clutches of the evil landlord became an obsession with us. Flying through the air with our cape fluttering behind us, searching for wrongdoers was simply second nature to those of us who possessed super powers.

Suddenly we were at the crossroads. We were grown up. The job that we looked forward to for so long was swiftly becoming a burden. Our super powers had faded and instead of searching for good deeds to do, our concentration is focused on providing a somewhat decent livelihood for the fair maiden who had succeeded in capturing our hearts.

We listen to the complaints of our own charges on the length of time until Christmas. Careers of pilots, cowboys and heroes, have long since been replaced by the drudgery of a much less exciting lifestyle. Yet we endure it with thoughts that one day; yea, one day, we will leave it all behind and retire.

Along with this dream of retirement comes unexpected strife. Inability to survive on what once was considered an acceptable pension prompts one to seek an additional source of income, hence, a part-time job.

This was definitely not part of the original plan. We had never given any thoughts to the fact that, along with supplementing our livelihood with part-time work, would also, create the added hardship of deteriorating health. This means that “medication” would become as much a part of our daily intake as our food.

Although our responsibilities are somewhat less, they have been replaced with anxiety. Increased expenditures like taxes, higher prices for commodities to maintain our standard of living,

Even the decrease in the reliability of necessary products, placed a severe strain on what we once thought of as a small fortune. Just ‘getting-by’ has taken precedence over the dreamed-of rescuing fair maidens, and bringing wrongdoers to justice.

At this point in our lives, all that we can wish for is perhaps the most important; and possibly, the most sought-after component of our complicated existence. The one thing which was probably the ‘last thing we would have wished for as a child’…

PEACE OF MIND!”
Demijon

“Now:  If I just had more money I could; ‘Go to Disneyland;’  ‘Take a cruise to the South-Sea Islands;’  ‘Tour Europe;’   ‘Buy that Sports Car;’  ….  “&”    “Let’s see;  What else”?    Dj.

Confusing; ain’t it?

(1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

(2) The farm was used to produceproduce.

(3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

(4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

(5) He could lead; if only he would get the lead out.

(6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

(7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

(8) A Bass, singing Bass, was painted on the head of the bass drum.

(9) When shot at, the dovedove into the bushes.

(10) I did not object to the object.

(11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

(12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

(13) They were not close enough to the door to close it.

(14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

(15) A sewer of the wedding dress dropped her thimble into a sewer line.

(16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his Sow to sow.

(17) The wind was too strong to wind the kite string.

(18) Upon seeing a tear in the antique painting; I shed a tear.

(19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

(20) How can I relate things; that relate to my relatives; to my Children?

Is it any wonder that I cannot speak or write intelligently? I suppose one reason is that I forgot to submit my renewal application to the “Dummies of the week” magazine.

Woe is me!  And then;  “What happens???”
Demijon

Be careful reading the fine print. Remember; it’s fine for a reason. Dj.

Affluence / Status

A fine line separates the two. It is rare indeed, to find one who possesses both. Such is the case with my friend R.T. Blake.

R.T. was born; the middle child of sharecroppers; when the country was emerging from the great depression of the early 1930’s.  Poverty was almost a way of life for the Blake family for much of R.T.’s childhood years.  However; unlike many of his family and friends, R.T. never accepted this; and from early youth he became determined to remedy a bad situation.

With very little formal schooling, he nevertheless, gained an uncanny knowledge for mathematics. His ability to calculate complex problems soon was known far and wide.

Although his expertise was in the field of mathematics; his secret wishes were, to be assured that there; “Was a better life,” out there; and he was determined that he and his family would rise from the quagmire that life had handed them for much of his young life.  Every penny that he was able to save, went into a fund to remedy this situation.

At the tender age14, he applied for, and secured, a part-time job, busing tables & washing dishes, at a local drive-in, grill.  In only a matter of a few months; R.T. became the youngest ‘Short Order Cook‘ in the history of Layton County, South Carolina. The “Pit Stop” where he plied this chosen trade, was the talk of the Low Country; and soon, R. T. became known throughout the state for his delicious concoction called; “THE R.T. DOG.”

For three years he combined the secret ingredients which had made these particular ‘Hot Dogs’ famous, and had propelled the “Pit Stop” into the forefront as ‘THE PLACE TO EAT’.  Even though he was somewhat of a celebrity; R.T. still maintained close family ties and much of his meager earnings went toward a better life for them.

At age 17;  With nothing but borrowed money, he opened ‘his own,’ “Hot Dog Stand;” in an abandoned corner building facing the courthouse.  With hardly room enough for his “bought on time” equipment and a counter with several stools, he began what would one day become a multimillion dollar chain of “R.T. DOGS & FIX’UNS.”

His success did nothing to dramatically change R.T.  He still spent most of his time in assuring that his Hot Dogs were of the finest quality and his fame did not deter his goal  of providing the “Bestist for the Leastist.”

Proof of his measure of success and status were offered at gathering’s of the “Sons of Rest,” that convened daily on the bench, just outside the barbershop. Overheard often here, were the remarks…

First- ‘Son of Rest’. “Have y’all heard that old R.T. has become affluent?”

Second- ‘S. O. R’.   “I don’t care what His Religion is.  He still makes the best Hot Dogs in the State:  And, besides that; He’s just one of we, ‘GOOD OLD BOY’S’.
Demijon

My 3rd grade Teacher, sent a note home, for my Daddy to meet with her.  Daddy complied and asked what was wrong:  She said:  “We have a problem with your Son.  I asked him yesterday, what you do for a living; and he said:”  “He plays piano in a Whore-House.”

Daddy said;  “Awgh; He just told you that, so you wouldn’t find out what I really do.”
“What do you do;  She asked?”
“I am a Politician.”   “Have a nice day.”    Dj.

Above & Beyond

Years of performing Handy-Man services for the general public has proven that the best advertising is performance.  Repeat calls are the backbone of any service organization and prompt, satisfactory work at a reasonable price will guarantee these calls.  Not only are the clients happy with the provided service, they will retaliate by informing others of your better then average performance.

Most service personnel will charge a minimum amount for each call, and this amount is designed to cover a certain amount of time.  If, by observation, one notes another small problem which is unrelated, and repairs this during the allotted time, at no additional charge;’  then the client is assured that satisfaction is of more importance than the amount charged; thus more repeat calls.

Another area of extending good will among customers is free advice. While in the process of a repair job, if you can advise the customer of some simple maintenance procedure which they can perform, and prevent another service call, your concern on their behalf will not go unnoticed.

Remember, your customers have a lot of friends and most of these friends will eventually have a need for your services. If they are pleased with your work and your charges are moderate, then they will recommend you in favor of a less than competent firm. This is advertising without any expense to you.

We have all experienced shoddy workmanship accompanied by exorbitant prices, and needless to say we were not happy.  Therefore, WE would not call the same individual again. Can we expect others to feel differently?  If the problem is beyond our expertise, a recommendation of another competent service person will assure the customer that your main interest lies in their satisfaction rather that the amount of your service charge.

Example:  Many calls at $20.00, are much better than one call at $40.00. By charging the higher amount and only receiving the one call, we will eventually run out of clients.  With exceptional service and reasonable charges, the customers will do our advertising for us, and we will be assured of continued success.

Since Handy-Men perform a service which the large contractors cannot afford to ‘waste a worker for such a small fee’.  there will always be a need for our services.  Be fair, prompt and do the job to the best of your ability and you will never be without customers.

Self-satisfaction is another area which Handy-Men find important.  While there are some who depend on this method for their sole income, others perform these services simply as a means to keep busy rather than deteriorate through inactivity.  These individuals find extreme pleasure in their ability to do the job and the monetary consideration is secondary.

To be able to look at a completed job with pride is something akin to therapy for these people. It is simply a matter of using our talents in a way  that helps others and this tends to keep us forever young. “WE need them” and “THEY need us.”  Is this not the way things are supposed to be?

Most Handy Men are not licensed to preform tasks that requires “Code Enforcement,” therefore, they will not attempt these particular repairs; but will recommenced a reliable repairman who will charge a reasonable rate.  This is an extra service that offers, “The best for the least:”  This is strictly for ‘your safety!’
Demijon
A Welcome Statement, anywhere;  “I’ll fix that for $1.00.”    Dj.

Now, WHAT???

Lately I have experienced difficulty in understanding some of the terms that are employed by today’s “with it” generation. Perhaps there are plausible explanations for this, since they have no desire to appeal to someone who could be considered “over the hill.” Examples of the confusion which these words and terms cause me follows along with my own interpretation.

LONG DISTANCE CARRIER: The person whom you send to return the borrowed milk bucket to your grandmother who lives eight miles away.

SWEEPSTAKES: Branches from a dogwood tree that are tied together for the purpose of ridding the yard of debris.

ADDER: In addition to being a type of snake, this word can have two meanings. A. “You young’uns can’t go play until adder you git yo’ lessons.”  &   B. “Mr. Jones, I’ll pay my grocery bill if you’ll adder up.”

HARD CORE: “If you don’t watch out, you’ll break a tooth on the ‘hard core’ of that pear.”

UNCALLED FOR: “Mazie put on her new dress and fixed up for her date and set there in the swing for two hours, ‘uncalled for.”

BENIGN: “That happened last year ’cause Jethro was eight an’ he’ll ‘benign’ next month.”

HEAD FOR THE MOUNTAINS: What all us flat-landers do when we take a vacation in the middle of the summer.

BYTES: What we get all over our bodies from them red-bugs when the blackberries get ripe.

SOFTWARE: “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times not to put starch in my drawers.”

HARD DRIVE: “From here to Kannapolis is a ‘hard drive’ in a model A.  It takes most of the day.”

RAP: Instead of a type of music accompanied by a loud thump-thump beat, this is
what you got over the head “if you didn’t git yo’ lessons.”

Since I am definitely not considered “cool,” my only alternative is to consider that today’s youth simply “ain’t had no raising;” and strive to alleviate the inaccuracies which dominate the speech patterns of today’s society.

Reward for my diligent efforts would be to hear one young person say, “ADDER a HARD DRIVE up thare to Waxhaw;  I jus’ want to take a bath, change my SOFTWARE; put some Calamine lotion on them ‘skeeter BYTES; and HEAD FOR THE MOUNTAINS.

Since Jethro’ll BENIGN soon; how come he can’t use th’ SWEEPSTAKES?  Mazie, she’s been UNCALLED FOR, so she can be the LONG DISTANCE CARRIER.

If she objects, jus’ RAP her over th’ head   Besides, I jus’ got the HARD CORE of that crab-apple stuck in my “wind-pipe.”

It’s obvious that I expect no more from others than I, myself, am willing to give. After all…It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Demijon

The $20.00 Suit

In the mid-1950’s, I was one of those ‘Idiots’ who jumped out of Airplanes, with the 11th Airborne Division, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

The pay, (even including jump-pay), ‘back then;’ was nothing like what today’s Servicemen receive.  I tried hard to budget my pay, so I would have a small amount of money at the end of the Month.

This budgeting was far from some minds of some G.I’s;  If, and when, a poker game would raise it’s ugly head; I’m sorry to say that my Friend was addicted to the game.

On this one occasion:  My Buddy approached me around the twentieth of the Month.  He was almost crying, when he asked me; “Hey, Sarge:  You got any money?”  “I’ve got a hot date tonight, and I’m completely broke.”

I told him that; “All I have is a $20.00 Bill; that I have hoarded all Month, and I cannot part with it.”  “You should have done likewise.”  “Emergencies do happen; You know!”    I did not realize just how desperate he was, until he said….

“I’ll tell you what; Sarge. You and I are about the same size.  Come with me to my barracks and I’ll show you a suit that I have hardly worn.  If it fits you; I’ll sell it to you for $20.00.”

I followed him to “A” Company’s barracks where; ‘There it was!’  What appeared to be a new; brown, worsted suit; coat, vest, and pants;’ covered with a plastic cleaning bag, hanging between his Class-“A” Uniforms and his Fatigues.  “Try it on,” he said.

I’ll admit that I was more surprised than he was; when the suit fit me to a tee.  “Are you sure that you want to sell it, I asked?”  “I do not loan money to anyone who gambles his paycheck away; but I will think about buying the suit;”  “If you do not want it.”

“Yeah, Sarge.  I won’t never ever wear it again, even if you don’t want it.  Believe me, Sarge; I really ‘must have that $20.00!’

I began to mull it over, and came to the conclusion that ‘Uncle Sambo’ was going to feed me, and give me a place to sleep, so I really didn’t need that $20.00, all that bad,’ therefore, I agreed to buy the suit.

I had my car on post; so the first thing I did after Pay-Day, was to go to the the K-Mart downtown and purchase a nice Suit,Travel-bag.  I carefully stored the suit in it and put both in the trunk of my car, where it would not “stand-out” in the barracks.

I suppose this was the best bargain that I had ever had ‘or,’ would ever get.  I had to smile each time I would wear it and someone would say:  “I did not realize that the Paratroopers paid you guys, enough, for you to buy suits like that.”

I never lied about it. I just said “Thankee!”   Incidentally, the previous owner of the suit, invited me to be ‘Best Man,’  when Corporal Baker married Angeline; the lady, he had dated on the evening the suit was sold.  The ceremony took place at the ‘Campbell’, Post Chapel: Officiated by Major Adams; the  following Month.

Afterward; I was, more or less, a permanent guest at their “Off-Post Apartment” for the rest of my enlistment.  As far as I know; Corporal Baker never played poker again.
Demijon

‘The suit’ became a part of my wardrobe for a number of years, and every time I wore it; I felt that I was playing, “Airborne Match-Maker;” again.     Dj.

 

 

Caucuses & Conventions

“One Person’s Opinion!”  Question: Has anyone out there in “Blog-Land” ever been given “time-off with pay” in order to search for a better job?   If so; who minds the store’ while you are absent?

Shouldn’t we all have the same opportunities as our elected officials to vie for a better position, and to have the expenses of our search born by contributions from our tax-paying counterparts?  And would these same people contribute as much to end World hunger, as they would for helping their political buddies?

For years; I have wondered why it is necessary for each political party to hold a bash,” (convention), and spend millions upon millions of dollars to select a nominee for the office of President?  When in fact; it is a foregone conclusion that each party has already decided who their nominee will be.  Is it because delegates to these conventions have no other reason to have an expensive, (paid), get-together?

Since our Country was viciously attacked and thousands of our citizens were murdered; many lives have been disrupted in order to prevent another such attack.  We have spent billions of dollars and have lost the lives of many members of our Armed Forces, to demonstrate to the world that we will not tolerate aggression within our borders.

Yet, the leaders of each political party will host thousands of ‘high-ranking delegates in one place;’ and spend several days in revelry that could be viewed, by terrorists, as ‘prime targets’.

Not only is the expense of these shindigs, seemingly, a waste of money; but we must spend other millions for protection of these delegates as well as the ones who seek the nomination.  This action, in essence, removes Police protection from areas deemed necessary by the average citizen.  Is this really a supreme example of our tax dollars at work?

I suppose one could say that I am a proponent of a ‘National Primary’.  To those who meet the qualifications to run for the office of President, (as set forth in the Constitution); and are willing and able to defend this document:  Let them throw their hats into the ring and leave it up to the voters to decide whom the candidates will be.

It is really so simple.  After campaigning,on their own time and expense,”  at the “National Primary;”  The candidate that receives the most votes from each party will face off in the National election.

Election to this office is so much more than gaining prestige and power.  Rather, the person that holds the office of President of The United States is primarily a servant of the citizens of America.  If he/she can succeed in bringing about compromise and harmony among members of both parties, he/she will then become an icon for freedom throughout the world.

It is also entirely possible that other countries would wish to emulate our form of Government, therefore easing much of the tension that exists today.

I realize that this will not solve all of the problems of misuse of tax dollars, or the abuse of power within the ranks of Government, but it certainly could be a start.

Hereby is An Important notice; from The Demijon Headquarters.  “If nominated; I will not run.  If elected;  I will not serve; therefore, a caucus or a convention is not necessary.  Case closed:”
Demijon