Ever Wondered???

How long the gestation period is for “having a ‘hissie fit’ ?”

Why other folks age more quickly than you?

Why there are 2,687 pairs of trousers on the rack with sizes ranging from 28 to 34 and only 5 pairs above size 40?

Why golfers yell “fore” when they are about to hit someone;  Why not “five” or “eight?”

Why it only rains on the days when you’ve forgotten your umbrella?

Why the person seated behind you in a theater insists on explaining everything?

How the young man driving the car with the million dollar sound system that causes the ground to shake around you is able to ‘here anything’?

Why your stomach growls at the precise time when the ‘Preacher pauses’?

Why you are asked to wait thirty minutes for a table when there are only four customers in the restaurant?

What would happen to the “blue light specials” if there were no microphones and speakers in department stores?

Why “skycaps” are always available to help with your baggage when you arrive at an airport, but are conspicuously absent as you struggle to your car?

Why it is customary to tip an employee at a hotel for bringing you a drink but not the person who cleans your room each day?

How prices in every grocery store can be lower than their competitor?

Are there really persons hired by the fast food industry to decide that “quickburger” tastes better than “fastburger?”

Why the person driving behind you insists on passing only to turn at the next street or stop at the next light?

Why someone is sure to ask; “Did you have a flat” when they observe you changing a tire?

Why you are so excited about taking a trip and yet so relieved to return home?

Do Automobile Dealers really think we’re dumb enough to consider their “$5000.00 cash back” a gift?

If the high price of gasoline is because of crude oil costs?  Where are the record-breaking profits the Oil Companies are enjoying coming from?

If a merchant advertises that they will “beat anyone’s price” and another merchant gives you something free, is the first merchant obligated to; “Pay you to take his merchandise?

I worry about  things like this.

Demijon

My mind works like lightning;  One brilliant flash, and it’s gone.”    Dj.

 

 

 

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; and to conjure up another blockbuster.  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, the thoughts that were so vivid within his mind earlier completely eluded him.  Perhaps this is one reason that he never had to worry about traveling far and wide to sign hundreds of books for adoring fans.

Finally: A worthy title leaks from his overworked brain.

“A TUMBLER FULL OF SODIE WATER.”

How do you spell relief? Heartburn, (indigestion), has been around for ages. When he was a child, no family would be without a box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda.  Not only was it prescribed for heartburn by a ‘LPN,’ (licensed practical Mom),  It was used to 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 belch 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 of water usually followed this.

This method was a little stout for me since the undiluted soda seemed a bit much; so I would put a teaspoon of soda into a tumbler, (later upgraded to 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 along with an outing cloth coated with Vick’s salve and 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 goodies expanding by leaps and bounds, my advice to anyone, 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 !.”

Demijohn

The money you save; can possibly pay for that ‘sharp pickup’ that you have been drooling over, at “Honest Joe’s Used Car Center, Ltd.”   Dj.

One Day Soon

“Just when are you going to fix that broken drain-pipe?” 

That question has been posed to hundreds of us men who have chosen to leave the work place for a life that consists mostly of resting, fishing, and thinking.

One would certainly hope that our roommates could grasp the importance of our desire to rid the world of the earthworm population; by drowning them from the end of a length of fishing line.

Then again; they should realize that we have spent many, many, years at back-breaking labor;’ just to provide them with the ‘life of leisure that they have enjoyed.’  Therefore, we deserve all the ‘resting,’  that we can get.

The thinking part is something that just comes natural to us beings, who possess superior intelligence.  It is therefore, second nature for us to utilize this gift, “24 / 7, day after day.”  In fact; thinking’ about retirement, is what kept us struggling for that tiny paycheck, each Friday; year after year.

The fact that the drain-pipe has been broken for weeks, would certainly indicate to them that it could wait for another few days.  Besides, the bucket underneath the pipe gives the whole room a real homely’  look; that adds to the charm of our abode..

Perhaps their persistence is caused by their inability to distinguish between important’ and trivial’ matters. “Somewhere along the way,” we are required to inform them:  ” We must accept the arduous challenge of teaching each of you, ‘not to question the vital decisions,’ that we make.”

Suppose, for instance, we did take the time and fix the pipe,’  This could very well result in the world being overrun by Earthworms.’   When the entire food supply is exhausted, would they then, see that our ‘thinking about this’  was only in their best interests?

By channeling our thoughts and energy toward the more significant tasks, we are better able to maintain our’ role of ‘The Better Half.’  Just think; without us’, wives would probably be required to cook, wash dishes, iron, scrub floors,  and yea, even fix drain-pipes themselves.’   With this in mind, it can readily be seen, that we have saved them from a life of drudgery.

Needless to say, it’s not easy to bear the burden’ of being retired’.  There are many monumental decisions that we must make daily, that could prove disastrous if left to the wrong persons. [ i.e…]

The lawn cannot be mowed during the heat of the day, because the Mower will get too hot.  Then; by the time we get the machine gassed up; it’s too dark to see how to cut it properly.

If we place a ladder against the house to remove the trash and leaves from the gutters; it will leave unsightly marks on the side of the house.  Besides, the leaves will eventually rot anyway, so why bother.

Paint that is chipped in spots simply leaves the impression that the ‘lived-in’  portion of the home is more important than the outside appearance.

The drip from the roof leak, (the last time it rained), did not completely fill the bucket, so it can wait for a few more days.  Perhaps there will be a dry spell, and we won’t need to spend the money for extra shingles.  This savings can be used to upgrade our “Golf Clubs.”  “Or even buy a Golf Cart.”  How’s that for saving.

STAMINA!”   That is what it takes to be a retired husband,’ and It is definitely a  ‘tough,’ ‘thankless,’  ‘job;’  but somebody has to do it.

“So; when are you going to fix the broken drain-pipe?”

“Just calm down:  “I have been thinking about doing it when I finish my nap.”  “If nothing more important comes up;  I’ll get around to it, ‘one day soon!”  “Trust me. I haven’t forgotten it.”

Demijon

Surprise!  Surprise!   I have recently discovered that IT’S TRUE: – “Beauty IS’ in the eyes of the beer holder!”    Dj.  

Remember when???

“Car-jack” was the definition for a device used to elevate an Automobile?  And the word “Hi-jack,” was used to indicate elevating it further?

Screen doors at the grocery, that were emblazoned with the words; “Merita is good bread?”  and / or, “Pepsi-Cola hits the spot?”

Shoeshine stands were standard equipment in all Barbershops; as well as a “Tonic,” applied with every haircut?

Lace curtains; that were washed, starched, and dried, on Curtain Stretchers?

When Petcocks were located underneath car radiators?  And must be opened and the water drained; to prevent freezing during the winter?

The building of houses was accomplished with handsaws, crosscut saws, and hammers?  And when Galvanized Tin was the most popular roofing material?

Radios and Heaters were not included as standard equipment, on any but the most expensive automobiles?

A family was considered “Riff-Raff” if their yard was not kept free of all grass and swept at least, once each week?

The most important mail that the majority of families received was the Sears Roebuck Catalog and The Market Bulletin?

The “Hoover Cart,” which was nothing more than an adaptation of the wheels and axle from an abandoned automobile; powered by a horse or mule?

Church pews, were strewn with hand-held fans advertising Funeral Homes on one side and paintings of Heaven on the other?

“Warming-Closets,” located above the cooking surface of wood-fired, cook stoves that kept leftovers warm with built-up heat from the stovepipe?

When Chicken-Wire enclosures for the garden spot, was used as a deterrent from rabbits and other predators.

When an abundance of “Chinaberry” trees in every yard; providing a dense shade during the summer months, were the norm?

You Welcomed warm breezes, and the aroma of freshly turned earth; that announced the arrival of spring?

Winter AND summer, Union Suits?  That were essential components of a Mans underwear?.

Crinoline Petticoats; were stylish, as a part of all young Ladies wardrobe?

Riding in a ‘Rumble Seat,’ with the girl of your dreams, was the ultimate enjoyment?

Every traveling Carnival included a tent to house a “Hoochie-Koochie” show?

These are but a few of the precious memories that I hold dear; and that I continue to savor as a part of my past.

Demijon

The words; “Do you Remember when?” Could enhance a minor incident,’ enough to keep a conversation going for hours; and always sounded much better each time it was repeated?  Right?   Dj.

Th’ Truth.

I am even more confused than normal. Although you may think that this is not possible, I assure you that it is.  Having seen hundreds of commercials for the latest technology in exercise equipment on television,  I decide that I am going to become one of the healthy, happy followers of this latest trend.

No more am I going to be required to suck in my belly every time I am around a beautiful, young lady.  I am going to join the thousands who have regained their youth in only twenty minutes, three times per week.

I have even witnessed the fat lady mounting this simple machine, and in a matter of seconds she has reduced her figure from a size fourteen. She now stands before me, a lovely size six. If she can do it, so can I.  I want to look like the guy with the washboard AB’S.

There is one small problem with this. Which machine do I purchase for my particular needs? Of the wide array of available machines,  I have no idea which is the best because each of them declares theirs is superior to all the others.  Is there somewhere a support group that can advise me on the right one to remove my protruding belly without rendering the rest of my frail body useless?

A visit to the shops that sell these machines is of no help, simply because they swear that the particular model that they sell is the best.  To make matters worse, they employ salespersons in these departments who are trim and are of the exact weight for their height, with bulging muscles, to demonstrate these products.

Not once have I seen a 5′ 10″ – 300 pound guy, working out on these machines and return one month later to find the same man, except that now he’s down to 185 pounds.

You can readily see my dilemma.  No one will tell me that if I attempt to rid myself of my belly on their machine that it will break every bone in my body.  Most of these machines advertise a guarantee that if you do not lose ten pounds and at least two inches in the waistline in 30 days, they will refund your money. This is all well and good; but who will pay for the three months in traction at the hospital?

I wonder if there is a shop anywhere that will allow me to try their machine for the allotted 30 days, if I will agree to purchase it if I am still alive at the end of the period?  If so, then they are the ones with whom I should address my inquires.  If they will only call me, I will rush down in my sweat suit and begin the trial.  My only requirement will be that they have someone available to help me onto the damn thing and then help me to my car.

Once my goal has been achieved and my waistline is an acceptable 32″, we will negotiate the payment schedule. Who knows, they just may want a before and after picture for the purpose of advertising this amazing machine.

If it can do for me what it did for the fat lady in their commercial, I will agree to pose for them for no more than union scale.  I seek only the admiring glances at my fit, trim, muscular, body from the young beauties, as I stroll along the beach, or through the Mall.  It takes so little to make me happy.

Demijon

I wonder if there is such a thing as “Bootleg Muscles.”    Dj.


The Cannery

The passage of time has a distinct way of erasing items from the mind, especially specific dates and minute details; however, some events remain vivid and can be recalled almost verbatim during moments of reminiscing about the good old days.

My short tenure in a capacity similar to that of an overseer began when I was perhaps 15 or 16 years old. I applied for and was hired for summer employment at The Cannery in Ruby, South Carolina. This firm was the proud producer of the Lord Chesterfield brand of canned goods, mainly tomatoes, okra and green beans. The precise designation of my job was that of a checker.”

Inside the giant warehouse-like building was a small square area bordered on two sides by conveyor belts. One belt brought tomatoes, okra, green beans, etc. inside from the scalding tanks located just adjacent to the outside doors to the peeling / cutting area.

The other belt carried the peeled tomatoes and the cut beans and okra to the packing area where sterilized cans were filled, sealed and continued on; to be lowered into the huge pressurized steam tanks where the final cooking took place. After cooling, the cans were labeled, packed in cardboard cartons and stacked to await shipment

The inside perimeter of the peeling area belt, was lined with ladies who did the peeling of the scalded tomatoes as well as the cutting of the beans and okra. Each lady had an empty bucket into which they would place the peeled tomatoes and/or beans, okra, etc . These ladies were paid by a method called piecework. If memory serves; it was in the neighborhood of ten to fifteen cents per rounded-over bucket.

Each lady had a string around her neck to which was attached a tag that hung on her back.  It was my responsibility to insure that these ladies received full credit for each bucket filled while at the same time; it insured that the buckets contained the correct amount of product.

When a bucket was filled, I would place it on the conveyor belt to be carried to the packing area; place an empty bucket in front of the “peeler” and stamp her card with a date stamp.

I had been admonished when I was assigned the task; about the requirement for each bucket to be filled completely insofar as each bucket full would fill a certain number of cans. It was not unusual for a lady to call for an empty bucket before thoroughly filling her present one.

On those occasions, I had the unpleasant duty to refuse to stamp her card; therefore, I was sometimes the victim of good-natured, verbal, abuse although they all were well aware of the rules.

I cannot remember how much my meager wages were; but the excitement of receiving my first pay envelope was something akin to euphoria. Needless to say, the few dollars the envelope contained were sufficient to prove that I, ‘had a job;’ and not only had change to jingle in my pocket; but also a few ‘Greenbacks,’ to display when around my friends.

Demijon

Since then;  Whatever is earned for one payday; “is gone before the next one.”   Dj.

 

Fodder

One day, last summer, my lovely roommate dispatched me to the local produce market  for some fresh corn.  Now, you all know me:  I simply can’t keep my mouth shut.  I feel that I must make a weak attempt to find humor in any and all situations.

Upon entry into the 94 year old building, the vivacious young co-owner asked if she could help me.  I even made an effort to appear serious when I replied, “Yes; ma’am!”  “I have been sent for four ears of corn, and a bundle of fodder.”

By the look on her face, it was evident to me, that she did not know what I was talking about and she finally asked; “What is fodder?”   I even resisted the urge to reply; “the opposite of ‘mudder.”

Her husband; who was manning the scales and register, smiled; and was apparently, familiar with the drudgery of stripping the leaves from corn stalks to be used as food for horses and mules.

This incident brought to mind that there are many people who are on the near side of Medicare, that know nothing of the unpleasant chores required of folks who depended on what could be raised on a farm for their subsistence.

Back then;  It was certainly, not a matter of running to the local supermarket for items that were needed.  In most cases, “You either raised it, or you done without.”

Corn: for example, was a necessary staple for man and beast.  It was planted in early spring and nurtured until ears formed on the stalks.  When the silks protruding from the ears turned brown, some of the corn, was picked for human consumption; i.e. “Roasting Ears.”

Leaves were then stripped from the stalks, bundled and allowed to dry, for animal food.  The remaining ears were left to ‘dry on the stalks,’ and were gathered in the fall for more animal food and, most importantly,’ to be shelled and ground into Cornmeal and Grits.

Cornmeal was converted into cornbread, and was a dietary staple for most families along with other vegetables from the Garden; that were either canned, or otherwise preserved during the summer months,  Freezing was not a priority, back then.

I suppose Grits,” are possibly the most misunderstood Breakfast Food that is predominately found in the rural countryside of  the deep South.’  It is nothing more than dried kernels of corn that are also ground for Grits; except that it is not ground as finely as for Cornmeal.

When the Corn is ground for ‘this delicious staple;’ the Grinding Stones’ at the mill,  were adjusted and Grits was the outcome.  However; it is prepared differently, by boiling in water, instead of being mixed into a batter to be fried.  Grits are considered ‘done,’ when the consistency is similar to a ‘mush.’  Doctor-it” with a little Butter or ‘RED-EYE’ Gravy; and you have a treat fit for a King.

Survival in ‘The Olden Days’ was, at best, a hard life.  However; as most seniors will assure you, there are no permanent scars in evidence on anyone who was raised on a farm “back when.”

No research was needed for this article simply because; I was there.”

Demijon

If there were any chores that I literally detested,’  it was “Pulling Fodder.”    Dj.

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Re; Mature.

It is certainly not easy to modify the thoughts that one has held throughout their entire lifetime with regard to becoming a “senior citizen.” For many, the time to reconstruct the patterns that heretofore dominated our existence has arrived. We have reached the pinnacle. We are retired.

So ingrained within our consciousness are the ideas that income is of the utmost importance that we fail to recognize the fact that continued employment is not the ultimate goal.

Granted, some adjustments are required at this time; however, if sufficient remuneration to cover the necessities and unexpected expenditures are incorporated within the retirement package, anything above this amount can and should be used to realize the dreams of a more leisurely lifestyle.

What happened to the travel plans; Things that we had never had the opportunities to experience? We have worked for our entire life in order to fulfill our aspirations of one day, simply doing as we please and yet here we are, unable to accomplish even the minimal of these objectives because of our obsession with earning more money. If this attitude continues, will we leave this life rich? I have serious doubts about that.

There is a Latin saying of “carpe diem” (seize the day), which should apply to our conception of retirement living. There are no promises of future for any of us. We must make the most of today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Thousands of interests await our investigation requiring little or no expense and many are just around the corner.

By re-channeling our thoughts, we will gain more than the few dollars that our continued labors will produce. If we continue to dig, the ruts will get deeper and we may find that it is impossible to withdraw from the quagmire where we have placed ourselves.

If we analyze the circumstances that we feel are so important, we may discover that we are not earning as much as the expenditures demanded from our struggles. In many instances, we are paying for the privilege of working.

I definitely am not advocating that we sit on our duff and do nothing, but we have now reached the period in our lives when we should busy ourselves with the things that we enjoy rather than attempt to accumulate a vast fortune. Citing our limited abilities, becoming rich would be next to impossible.

By transforming our outlook toward life in general, will we now accept the less than desirable patterns that we have fabricated for our lives or will we attempt to make a change for the better?

Demijon

You know you’re old when; ~~ You’re on an extended vacation, and your ENERGY runs out before your MONEY does.    Dj.

WINDER SCREAMS

This’hear were writ, whenst we’uns lived down thare at th’ Beach.

Hit were way-on-torage dark forty-five, when’st Susie Mae come home frum Miz Mazie’s whare her an’ them other womernfolks had been a’settin an’ playin’ Old Maid Cards.

B’then she darken’d th’ door, she commenced a’takin’ on ‘bout th’ screams whot Silas had done went an’ put up in th’ winders round his porch ta’ keep th’ ‘skeeters frum bitin’ whilst they wus a’settin thare atter supper.

“Jay Henry, honey, she sez;”  “Silas has went an’ hung, some tow sacks frum th’ rafters an’ soaked ‘em in karsene an’ them ‘skeeters jus’ turn ‘round an’ go sommers else b’then they gits close to they porch.  Now, that thare’s whot we’ens needs, ‘cause you knows how them ‘skeeters purely love to eat on me; sweet as I is.”

I tolt her that hit wuddn’t work simply ‘cause we’ens ain’t got no kiver on our’n porch an’ she flung a fit.  “Old man Tadlock’s got a whole big slab pile down thare whare they cut his’ns timber an’ they’s jus’ a’settin’ thare an’ a’rottin’. I jus’ knows he’d give you’ens all you need ta’ kiver th’ porch iffen you’d axe him.”

Now, I studied on hit a little bit an I ‘cided, iffen Rocky Phil wud come an’ holp me, mayhaps we’ens cud nail up enough slabs to kiver th’ porch an’ put some winders in th’ walls, we’uns cud nail sum-kind uv’ screams on th’ posts. Well’sr, I broached th’ subjec to Rocky Phil an’ he went an’ said that he’d holp iffen Jeddy wudn’t git too sceart a’ stayin’ by herself whilst he wuz down here a’holpin’. I tolt him that Susie Mae cud go up thare an stay wiff her iffen she needed her an’ Jeddy, she sez she’d ruther be sceart.

Well’sr, we’uns commenced rite atter Easter, a’haulin’ slabs an’ nailin’ em up side th shack so’s they wud hold th’ kiver an’ stuck saplins in th’ ground on t’other side uv’ th’ porch an’ perty soon we’ens had done an’ got hit to whare hit wud hold th’ tar paper, an’ a few winders.

Susie Mae kep’ axein’ Rocky Phil whot kind uv’ sacks he were gonna hang in them winders?  She sez, she had done seen some wiff Idaho ‘Taters painted on ‘em wiff red paint an’ she thot  they’ud look perty from th’ road.

Rocky Phil tolt his mammy he were gonna nail screenm-wiare on them saplins an’ that wud keep them ‘skeeters out. Susie Mae jus’ sot thare a’grinnin’ an’ I knowed whot th’ subjec wud be at that nex’ Old Maid partie.  She’d be takin’ on sumpin‘ terable ’bout how perty our’n porch be’s.

Jeddy, she come down heare an’ holp’d  Rocky Phil put th’ tar paper on th’ kiver ‘cause she knowed how I gits light headed whenst I gits far off’n th’ ground. That gal ain’t as big as a minute, but she shore can turn out th’ work. Even though she be’s a yankee, she acks ‘bout as homely as me an’ Susie Mae do.

When we’ens got hit done; me an’ Susie Mae wuz a’settin’ out thare, atter we’ens had done et supper an’ Susie Mae sez, “Jay Henry, honey;  wudn’t some slab shelves look good up side th’ shack ta’ put my unka-tunkas on?”

They jus ain’t no pleasin’ that thare womern.

Tolt by Jay Henry.  Writ by Demijon.

As the tree is bent.

No one can doubt the wisdom of a God who allots the task of rearing children to the young. Not only are they more tolerant, they possess the necessary stamina to endure the enormous energies which come as standard equipment with small children. This endurance will diminish with time and is rarely present by the time one becomes a senior citizen.

Tolerance is perhaps the most difficult of all virtues to embrace by someone who has seen it all and, therefore; is more aware of the correct methods of raising children. Second only to the inability to tolerate is the offering of advice. This is usually prefaced with the term, “In my day…”

Not wishing to appear rude, most young parents will listen, agree, and then continue with their own techniques in regard to the training of their offspring.

Whatever procedures are adopted, the credit will be assumed by the ‘seniors;’ if by chance, the results were good.  Mistakes typically would produce the phrase; “If you had listened to me…”

I suppose that the hardest of all decisions would be to allow the young parents free rein to make mistakes and to learn from them in the same way parents have done for generations.

If the desire for excellence has been instilled in them, it will be passed on in basically the same way.

Only then, when they observe another unruly child, can they rejoice in a statement from one of their own; “You taught us better than that.”  Those six words make it all worthwhile.

Thankfully the stamina for a Grandparent to keep up with an energetic child is only required for short periods of time. They are not attuned to “The Hip generation.”

On the other hand; very few young children will be content for long if required to just ‘sit and watch the tractor rust.’ The constant activity which they thrive on is sometimes too much for the “old folks.”

I remember a quote from an older gentleman when I was a young swain. I did not understand it at the time, but it is now perfectly clear. He is quoted as saying; “Grandchildren are more enjoyable than one’s own children.”

“When they are quiet and well behaved, they are a delight. However; when they become rambunctious and unruly, you simply call the parents and say;”

“HERE, take him;” He won’t listen to me!”  Nothing could be more profound.

Demijon

“I am convinced that I could teach Dr. Spock a thing or two; about controlling young children; if only I had been asked to do so.”   Dj.