The Champion

Living along the Southeastern coast of North Carolina for fifteen years acclimated me to a ˜laid-back” environment that is, for the most part, commensurate with the inhabitants of a community comprised of mature individuals. For many, hectic, years, we had yearned for life in the slow lane and a chance to stop and ‘smell the roses instead of ‘cursing the thorns’.

With the exception of a couple of months, during peak tourist season at the Atlantic Coastal ‘Hide-a-way,’ called “Sunset Beach;” no one seemed to be in much of a hurry.

This fact was observed daily on the streets and highways when total strangers would slow and signal for you to complete your turn ‘in front of them’ or to ‘exit from a parking lot or another street’.

Stopping for pedestrians waiting to cross during inclement weather was the unwritten rule rather than the exception. Rare, indeed were incidents when both pedestrians and motorist alike did not display common courtesy.

Imagine our surprise when we again moved back to the heavily populated foothills of North Carolina. On the streets and highways here, everyone appears hell-bent to reach a destination before you do.  In fact; there are a few drivers that traverse the steep, twisting roads several times daily; much like a ˜Nascar Road-Course,” by ˜drafting;” (practically touching the bumper of the vehicle ahead).

“Following  too closely,” (less than one car length for each ten MPH of speed), and “passing” on hills and curves, is apparently a part of their quest for “Intimidation.”

Observing the posted speed limits, by the rank and file, is reason enough to cause road rage” from the driver behind them. Apparently these folks fail to realize that it is impossible for everyone to be ˜First:”  “All of the time.” 

During nighttime hours; many Drivers, “Do not care that their bright lights are blinding oncoming vehicles”.  Pedestrians literally place their lives in jeopardy when attempting to cross a street during peak hours. It seems that courtesy is no longer an accepted criterion.

I wonder just how long it will be before a trophy is awarded to a driver who has mastered the steep, twisting turns of the ˜Foothills Road Course” and is crowned ˜The Champion.  From what I have observed in the few months we have lived here, this time; the competition will be challenging due to the many drivers with skills that would make a Race Car Owner proud; and quite possibly will place them in contention for the coveted  Driver of the Year” award.

Good luck.

Demijon;  (Creator of good reading).

“You won’t believe this!”

The above expression usually accompanies a profound statement about someone, or an event, of astronomical proportions. The person making the statement is confident that they are the first to relate the story to you.

Usually this statement is preceded by “let me tell you about this”… “you wont believe it”  or “Hey, did you hear about…?  “You won’t believe this.” 

Why shouldn’t I believe it?  If it is true, then there should be no doubt in either of our minds. On the other hand, why bother; if the tale is only a rumor.

Rumors begin as simple, sometimes meaningless statements made during a conversation between two or more individuals. With each telling; the story becomes more graphic and the final outcome could very well sound unbelievable.

To illustrate, let’s assume that Fred and Joe are conversing. Joe: “Did you hear about the Preacher getting up at 6:00 a.m. and his wife slept until 6:30?”

Fred then relates the story to Jim. “I heard that the preacher beat his wife up.” Jim’s version as told to Bill. “The Preacher and his wife had a big fight.” Bill’s rendition to Mary:  “Jim told me that the Preacher broke his wife’s nose.”

Mary calls Jane. “I hope the preacher’s wife will be able to walk with the cast on her leg.”  Jane tells Margaret. “Poor thing, I heard that she has bruises all over her body as a result of their big fight.”

Margaret then asked Ned, “Have you heard when the Preacher’s wife will be out of the hospital?” Ned tells Alex. “I heard hat the Preacher’s wife has only a few more days left.”

Alex calls the Preacher and says, “You have my sympathy. Is there anything that I can do for you?”

The Minister replies,  “YES:”  “PLEASE DON’T WAKE MY WIFE UP.”   “SHE SLEEPS UNTIL 8:30; YOU KNOW.”

Exaggerated?  Sure, but you can readily see how a simple statement can get completely out of hand. We must carefully consider the implications of any subject where there is the slightest cause for exaggeration, in order to prevent rumors that if left to intensify could seriously damage another.

Think about it. Are we adding a little spice to what would be an otherwise superficial statement? Could any additions cause undue pain or stress?  If so:  Then we would be extremely wise to refrain from repeating any undocumented statement.

NOTE:  You wont believe this but; according to my sources, “The wife was the one that beat the Preacher up:”        * Editor.

“The Funeral is at 3:00 o’clock, on Tuesday.”

Demijon

 

Th’ Old “Eye-Dr.”

Hit were ’bout this time a few years ago; when’st I commenced to notice that ‘riting wuz gittin; littler an’  littler. Susie Mae, she figured that me bein old wuz why. She seys to me, she sez; “Jay Henry, honey, why-onch-ya go on down to that thar eye Doctor an’ let him ‘zammun yo eyes.”

Well’sr, I recon’d that hit wont gonna do no harm; so’s I taken off down thar an’ he sot me in a chair an’ tolt me to read him them letters whot he had writ on th’ wall. I could tell that he was most as m’pressed with my readin’ as Susie Mae be’s cause he jest kept me a’sayin’ them letters an’ numbers.

He stropped a big ole bunch uv glasses on my face an commenced twistin little nobs an’ axeing me to read them letters to him agin. Poor feller, he couldn’t read neither, an’ he wanted me to do hit fer him:  “See’n as how, he knowed; ‘rite-off-th’ batt,’ that I were “Telligent.”

Then he dropped a drop uv water in my eyes frum a little tee-winey bottle and commenced shining lights in ’em an mutterin’ to the gal what was holpin’ him. He kept on sayin sompin ’bout a cadalac, an’ I thinks to myself;  “This hear, ain’t no time to be talkin’ ’bout no car.”

When he got thru wif his zammination; he tolt me that he wuz gonna have to cut open my eye an’ take that cadalac out. I thinks to myself:  “Myself: that this here feller likes ’bout two bricks a’havin a load. Him an’ that nuss gal finally ‘splained to me that hit were that “caderack” whot wuz a’botherin my eye an’ he would jus take hit out an’ stomp hit; an’ then I could read them funney papers to Susie Mae ‘thout no trouble,“t’all.”

They made me a pintment to take out that thing the nex week an’ I goes down thar. They put me on a little ole cot what had wheels on hit an’ commenced hookin’ all kinds uv wires to me. I wuz glad that Susie Mae couldn’t see that, ’cause she would fling a fit.

She purely don’t like fer nobody ta mess with her man. I tolt this here nuss, name of Audrey, that I wuz gonna cuss iffen she hurt me an’ she stropped a piece of ‘hesive-tape’ cross my mouff.

They give me sompin thru a needle whot they had poked in my han an’ rolled that little cot in a nother room. Then the Doctor commenced a’workin on my eye. They throwed some towels over my face so’s I couldn’t watch, an’ I knowed that he didn’t want me a’learnin all that stuff; an’ maybe take some of his business away frum him.

When they got thru, they put a patch on my eye an’ rolled me back outten that room and let Susie Mae see me. I thoght I wuz gonna have to git offen that thare buggie an’ holt her when she seed that patch, cause she purely don’t wont nothin a’messin up my good looks.

“I’ll have ta say that that Doctor knowed whot he were a’doin ‘cause  th’ nex- day; he taken off that patch an. I could see like back when I were 25 years ole’ agin.”

Susie Mae wuz plumb tickled wiff them folks work;  ˜Cause now, she don’t have ta struggle wiff them words in the funney papers. She sez to me, “Jay Henry, honey, nex time you’ns go down thar, you’ns be shore ta take them folks some middlin meat an’  some polk sallitt, ya’ here.”

I’se doin’ tolloble well now an’ I shore wants them folks to know that me an’ Susie Mae both raley ‘Prechiates Hit…

Writ by JAY HENRY

“Being ‘over the hill’ is much better than being under it”.  “An old Demijon “Saying.”  Dj.

The art of getting old.

It’s everyone’s job:  Like it or not.

There are very few children who do not anticipate growing up, and to eventually become able to; “Run with the big dogs.” Their wish to emulate the adults around them increases each year until they finally reach the age of majority.  It is here that reality sets in and many of the fantasies they have looked forward to for so long become overshadowed by the actuality that; “It ain’t what it’s cracked up to be!”

For instance:  The passage of time during their early years was measured in months instead of days.  It seemed forever to wait until another birthday, a holiday, Christmas, etc.  Patience is not their strong suit at this juncture in their lives.  It is every parents wish that their offspring remains a child for as long as possible; but even they remember similar feelings from their own childhood.

Try as we might; we fail to instill in their young minds some of the things they will face as an adult.  For the benefit of the young who read this blog, I will include a listing of a few problems that they will encounter once they reach the age of being; “some two years older than dirt.”

#1  –  Everything hurts;  but,  what doesn’t hurt will not work.

#2You get to the point of looking forward to a dull evening.

#3Your back goes out more than you do.

#4 –  The little gray-haired lady you help across the street is your wife.

# 5 –  Your children are beginning to look middle-aged.

#6The list of names in your little black book, all end in M.D.

#7 –   You know all the answers; but nobody asks you the questions.

#8 –   The gleam in your eye is the reflection of the Sun on your bi-focal’s.

#9 –   Your pacemaker opens the garage door of the pretty girl across the street.

#10 – Your knees buckle; but your belt won’t.

More valuable advice from “The Demijon Book” of important “Stuff” will be on the market soon.  To reserve your advance copy, have your credit card ready and call BR-549.

That’s BR-549;  CALL TODAY!

 Demijon

Demijon’s Dictionary  –  “J”  –  Juncture;  –  “Bobby Frank told me that you juncture car after you wrecked it.”     Dj,

TALL TALES

All it takes is a little imagination and lots of funny friends.

I am constantly asked, “Where do you come up with all of that junk that you write?”  To be truthful, I lean heavily on events and/or ideas supplied by others. Many of these folks have no idea that they will appear in print and do not recognize the final draft. It is here that the imagination comes in.

When an idea for an article is inadvertently presented, I assign it to a fictional character and build the story around either his / her good or bad points. To add bulk to this article, it sometimes becomes necessary to include some of my own personal experiences, many of which are true.

For example: To hear a friend remark that someone was wearing four inch spike, heels with a mini-skirt is hardly earth shattering. Now, take the same remark and apply it to a situation where “BUBBA” is describing the lady of the evening whom he had observed on DeKalb street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia; and it becomes the epitome of innovative dialect, as per the following…;

“That thare gal were wearing a dress thet didn’t cover nothing; along with shoes whot had 12 inches of heel thet had her butt jacked up lak a ’64 Chevy.”   (or),  “Maw all’as tolt me iffen I looked at sumpin’ lak that thare, I’d go blind. Howsomever, I figured I’d risk one eye.”

I suppose my favorites would be to take any unusual occurrence, and relating it to my nondescript past, create a story that would be interesting if not believable. As a child during a time when there was little in the way of entertainment and even less money with which to avail oneself; this did much to inaugurate the process of transforming ordinary events into amusing anecdotes. Thus, the characters of SUSIE MAE and JAY HENRY were born.

The antics of this backwoods couple are purely fictional; however, much of the material was inspired by actual incidents which I encountered during my youth. As any good old country boy will attest, the humor of the “backwoods” stems from pure, unadulterated Americana.

Where else can you find the terms such as: “I’ll slap yo’r jaws.” – “Git th’ dishrag an’ wipe th’ youngun’s nose, I can’t stan’ nast’ness.” – “Pa ain’t here rat now. He’s in th’ back-house.” or “Mazie:”  “Iffen y’all don’t empty th’ slop jar, Maw’s gonna tan y’all’s butt.”

In most cases the recording of such incidents are simply for the enjoyment of the reader and have no similarity whatsoever to actual occurrences. They are provided as proof that if one possesses a ‘vivid imagination and a few funny friends;’  the telling of TALL TALES is no big deal.

Perhaps the hardest part is trying to remember all of these gems of wisdom once you decide to write them down. This is no minor task for someone like me who; when I make an attempt to record them, has trouble with the “OFF” and “ON” button on a Cumputtar thaet canotte Spaell Sheaitt,

Demijon

It only takes one laugh to dispel a gloomy demeanor. Dj.

THE VAPORS

Read any book about the Deep South in the days before the Civil  War, and you will surely find that some lady; usually of genteel background, had suffered from an attack of the “VAPORS” at one time or another.  In many cases, the attack was so severe that they were required to “take to their bed” for an extended period.

The exact cause of this malady was never explained.  However, I arrived at the conclusion that it had something to do with shock or astonishment since it usually followed an announcement from a daughter that she was keeping company with a young swain who lacked the proper breeding which their exalted station in life demanded.

Although I am far removed from the aristocracy of the plantation owner set, it nevertheless caused me concern that a little of this disorder, could perhaps have made its way through the generations, and therefore be responsible for my many aches and pains.

Turning to the dictionary for guidance in my pursuit of the meaning of the dreaded ailment;  the best I could come up with was, “exhalations of the stomach believed to be harmful to one’s health, hypochondria or depressed spirits.”

Delving deeper, I discovered that exhalations means;  “Something exhaled, as air, steam, or an ODOR.” At last, here is the diagnosis for milady’s problem. “She was simply suffering from gas pains.  Come to think of it, this COULD have been passed down through the generations.

The thing that troubles me most is the fact that this affliction is only mentioned following some extreme tribulation. Were these sophisticated souls not affected by ‘Pinto Beans’ or ‘Sweet Potatoes’? And, why take to their beds? It would seem to me that fresh air would be more of a solution than the confinement of a bedroom.

Nothing is said about the rank and file members of society suffering from this illness. Perhaps they were immune since their physical makeup was not as delicate as the nobility.

Getting back to my aches and pains. Whether or not a touch of the “VAPOR” genes have been passed down; leaves room for question.

However, please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear. “If I suddenly leave the room during a conversation; you may be sure that I do this for a very good reason”.

Demijon

Please excuse me:  But I can never refuse a dinner consisting of “Black-Eyed-Peas” and “Sweet Potato Pudding.”  Then I asked myself; I said, “Myself:  Could it be that this is why  The “Little Woman”  refuses any and all dinner invitations?”   I have always thought that she was afraid that all the other Ladies would try to “GO WITH ME!” 

“Turns out;  She just didn’t want me to have an attack of ‘The Vapors’ among Company.”    Dj.

JUSTICE

It was a sleepy little town, typical of many small hamlets that dot the landscape of the southernmost parts of the Country. Main Street was lined on either side with various stores and appeared, at first glance, to end at the courthouse steps. It was here that it gave way to a circle circumventing the two hundred plus years old building. Entering the circle at right angles were two streets that evidently led to the surrounding countryside. Traffic from the main thoroughfare was required to negotiate the circle before continuing and eventually connecting with congressman Jake Wilton’s pet project, the By-pass.

There was a time when the flow of traffic was routed through the town by way of main street. Very few merchants were happy about the construction of the by-pass and with good reason. What once had been a thriving city had now been reduced to a handful of presently operating businesses and many more vacant buildings. A number of the merchants were required to relocate, whereas, others had merely closed their doors and sought other means to provide for their families.

With the exception of a Saturday, when most of the citizens from the farm community came into town to transact their weekly business or to merely pass the time with their friends and neighbors. One could usually count the patrons who venture into town for the purpose of shopping, on the fingers of one hand.

Today, however, was different. Today was the day when the Circuit Judge arrived to conduct the business of the court. It was a big day indeed, for the inhabitants of the county, simply because of the forthcoming trial of one Peter J. Brigman.

“Pete” had been accused of shooting B. L. Jarvis in the leg with a twenty-gauge shotgun after an argument at the Short-Snort Cafe last May. He had been housed in the JAIL over in Mayport, since his arrest in June.

Probably the most unusual aspect of his day in court was the fact that “PETE’S” supporters had gathered on one side of Main Street and the supporters of “B. L.”  were congregated on the opposite side. The air was charged with apprehension.

Vehicles representing local radio and television stations were parked adjacent to the courthouse, their wires extending across the circle and into any available receptacle.

Also present were several persons with identification cards denoting them as members of the press. The Progressive, The Telegraph, and The Weekly Responder.

The disgruntled members of the “Sons of Rest club,” that normally occupied the benches on either side of the courthouse steps had been displaced by a battalion of deputies from the adjoining counties. The controversial trial was about to begin.

Attorneys for both sides were careful in their jury selection. They were determined to have at least as many supporters for their client as the other side had. Awareness that half the community were friendly toward Pete and couldn’t stand B.L. and the other half felt just the opposite, made for a lively selection process.

At last, the jury was seated and trial began. In opening statements, both attorneys depicted their client as solid, law abiding citizens who would go out of their way to avoid a confrontation, but yet, the evidence presented by the prosecution would point to the guilt of the defendant and council for the defendant would claim that nothing could be further from the truth. Back and forth they went:  Both questioning and cross examining witnesses.

The judge began to think that the trial was getting nowhere up until the time when “JETHRO PARNELL” was called as a witness for the defense.  He was asked if he had witnessed the entire altercation. His testimony was short and to the point.

“Yep, your majesty.  B.L., he had him a snoot full of that old rot-gut whiskey that Ben Tadlock bootlegs and he commenced a-raggin’ Pete about that bag of bones; whot he calls a bird dog.  Pete told him to shut up but he never listened.  Next, he commenced  a’runnin’ down Pete’s wife.  Said she was fat and lazy.  Finally, he just went too far and flew in to cussing “DALE EARNHARDT:” and Pete just up and shot him.”

The judge then interrupted and addressed himself to the jury. He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe that we have need of a jury at this time, thank you very much. Council will approach the bench.”

When the jury had left the courtroom, the judge turned to the prosecuting attorney and said, “You have wasted my time and the taxpayer’s money with this nonsense. Case dismissed. Hell, I’d have shot him myself, if I had been there!”

“Bailiff; Call the next case!”

Demijon

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GAS WARS IN REVERSE!

 

I have vowed to restrain from “playing politics” in my Blog, but I must get this off my chest. Dj.

In the late 1950’s / early 1960’s, service stations competed by lowering the price of gasoline. I can well remember seeing a posted sign in front of a neighborhood station advertising the price of their product at $.18.9 cents per gallon. Less than one hour later, I passed the same location and observed the station across the street changing their price to $.17.9 cents.

It was along about this time that Politicians seeking election / re-election promised to lower prices on all consumer goods in return for a vote. It’s funny, but those promises seemed to get put on the back burner as soon as the votes were counted. Little concern was given to the retailer that was selling gasoline for less than they paid for it in order to lure customers. Perhaps the reason was that service station owners made up a small percentage of the populace, and that the major oil companies were content with a normal margin of profit.

Just yesterday, I drove to the grocery. As I passed convenience store “A,” a clerk was changing the price on the gas pumps to to $2.49.9 cents. On my return the same clerk was boosting the price to $2.50.9 cents while convenience store “B”, just across the street, was in the process of changing their price to $2.51.9 cents.

After reading about the record-breaking profits earned by major oil companies, it makes us wonder who is scraping the cream off the top. To make matters worse, reports are that gas prices will surpass the $3.00 per gallon mark. (Not before the 2008 election, of course).

What do you think would happen to the price of gasoline if the salaries of all politicians were suddenly reduced to the level that “Joe Blow” receives for flipping burgers and “Jim Smith” gets for washing cars?

None of us expect for gasoline prices to again return to the $.17.9 cents, but our elected officials are doing us a great injustice by allowing the skyrocketing prices of everything and still seeking to make up the difference by curtailing the very limited incomes of the country’s seniors.

Has it ever occurred to them to reduce their own lavish salaries and bonuses as a gesture of concern for their constituents? By doing so this could be characterized as “leading by example” and would be a start in the right direction.

Demijon

Posted inUncategorized

MENUS.

Don’t you just hate it when you enter an eating establishment and find that the menu is printed entirely in an unknown language? To those of us who are not “worldly,” this presents a problem. Searching the entire menu offers no explanation as to what the “Baked Chitlins alfredio” or the “scalipiota personified” consists of and does not even indicate that it is edible.

It would seem that they would include a translation somewhere for those of us who know nothing of the exotic terms used by famous chefs. It need not be elaborate, just tell us what we would be eating when we point to an item and say, “I’ll have that.”

It does not stop here. Small print below the selections of entrees, offers the “Vegetable of the Day.”  What is this? Can they not spell mashed potatoes or green beans and corn on the cob?  And do they really cook the “Fries” at “Home” and then bring them to the restaurant?

Also, it would seem that the longer the name, the larger the price. I have tried to figure out just what the going rate per letter in their “special of the day,” but to no avail. This too, is a closely guarded secret. To call a potato by any other name should not increase the price by one half.

Many of us enter a restaurant for only one reason. We are hungry. We do not care if the food is called cuisine or simply victuals. It matters not to us if the items are served with an exotic sauce or plain gravy. If the food is tasty and the establishment is clean, we will beat a path to your door. A sample of what we are looking for is—

Ham and ‘tater salad with okra and squash…$1.69

Steak and black eyed peas with turnips and mashed ‘taters…$2.45

Meat loaf and gravy over rice with collards and pinto beans…$1.89

Fried cat fish with fried squash and fried ‘taters…$2.22

Beef stew with stewed ‘maters and hominy…$2.16

All of the above served with biscuits, corn bread, tea and/or coffee. Large slice of apple pie included.

Take heed, all of you restaurant owners. This could mean the difference in success and failure. There are thousands of us who want nothing more than a good, tasty meal. It’s up to you.

Will you succeed or fail?

Demijon

Posted inUncategorized

Mostly Unheard Of Today!

Slew-footed: Someone who walks with their feet turned outward. Example: “He’s so slew-footed that he walks like he’s raking corn shucks.”

Teddys: An item of underwear worn by ladies. Example: “Mavis was walking around outside with nothing but her teddy’s on.”

Bodiacious: A huge amount. Example: “I’ll bet that car cost Jim a bodiacious pile of money.”

Coming up a cloud: An impending storm. Example: “You young’uns get in the house and wash your feet; ‘They’s a’coming up a cloud.”

Tainted: Anything that has spoiled. Example: “Throw them hot dogs into the hog pen. They’s tainted.”

Parson: A preacher. Example: “Our Parson has moved and we’s got to find us another’n.”

That Way: Description of a pregnant lady. Example: “I’ve heard that Eunice is “that way” and won’t tell who’s the daddy.”

It’s that old bomb: Placing blame. Example: “The reason we’re having such bad weather is that it’s caused by ‘that old bomb.”

Liquored-up: Inebriated. Example: “I saw Bob yesterday in front of the dime store and he was all “liquored up.”

Pigeon-toed: Walking with the feet turned inward. Example: “That young’un of Miz Hylton’s is as ‘pigeon-toed’ as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

Croup: As having a bad cough. Example: “Jethro has got the ‘CROUP‘ and I can’t sleep ’cause he coughs all night;”

Gimp-legged: A person that walks with a limp. Example: “That ‘gimp-legged‘ boy of Miz Starnes ain’t getting no better.”

Smart as a whip: Showing intelligence. “He might never get any better but he’s; “Smart as a whip.”

Swimmy-headed: Unstable. Example: “I was so “swimmy-headed” this morning, I could hardly get out of bed.”

Blind staggers: Same as above. “I noticed that; but I thought you had a bad case of the “blind staggers.”

Re-liners: Inserts for automobile tires. Example: “You had better put “Re-liners” in your tires ’cause the air is showing in two of them.”

Lumbago: Leg or back pain. Example: “I’ve got to get up from in front of this computer ’cause my Lumbago is giving me a fit.”

Any more questions?

Demijon

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CATCHING FLIES!

After retirement, my wife and I lived in Sunset Beach, North Carolina for fifteen years. While there, I became friends with Sam; who was the owner of a thriving Hardware, Garden Center and Real Estate & Rental Agency.

I suppose one could characterize him as a good old boy since his attire was usually overalls and denim shirt, and with a baseball cap perched on his head. At first glance, it was hard to believe that he was the boss because most of his employees were dressed better than he. When I went into his store for a couple of items, it was not unusual to spend an hour or so reminiscing with him about the good old days.

Once, he related a true story to me. A non-resident Homeowner called one day and ordered one yard of gravel and wanted it delivered immediately. Sam explained that all his drivers were busy with other deliveries and he would send the gravel as soon as possible. The man became indignant and demanded service right now!  Sam told him that he would do what he could to deliver as soon as possible.

Hanging up the phone, he told Marie; his wife, and bookkeeper; to look after the store and he would deliver the order himself. He went into the yard and loaded the gravel on the spare truck with the front end loader and drove across the floating draw-bridge and onto the Island.

The Homeowner was standing if front of his ocean-front cottage when Sam arrived. He had no more than gotten out of the truck cab until the man lit in on him.” He began cussing about the poor service from people and businesses in the South and especially in and around Sunset Beach. “My time is much too valuable to wait around until the spirit moves some country bumpkin to do what I’m paying him for.”

Sam merely dumped the load of gravel in the designated spot and then turned to the man and said, “I know what you mean and I’ll agree with you 100 percent. I’ve never seen such sorry service than these folks around here provide. People like you and me are not used to such bad service.  Up North, people jumped when we hollered.” 

“Y’see, the only reason I’m driving this truck; is to try to make enough money to move my family, If things get any worse.”

The man paid him for the gravel and then asked him to wait for a couple of minutes before leaving. He went into the house. When he came back out, he shook Sam’s hand and handed him two twenty dollar bills and said,  “I Hope this will help you get back home.: 

After relating this to me, Sam quoted an old saying; “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”  Sam’s  unique ability to correlate with folks of any background leaves no doubt of his success as a businessman.

“I’m glad to call him my friend.”

Demijon

 

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The Model “A”

How well I remember the Model A Ford. This was the first automobile that I can recall my family owning. It was a black, box-like, two-door sedan, powered by a four-cylinder engine, which provided our transportation for many years.

It sat regally, on 19-inch wire wheels with a spare wheel and tire attached to a horn-shaped, mount at the rear of the body. The 19 inch Tires held  Inner-Tubes,” that could easily be patched, by the owners.  “Repair Kits were available at all Service Stations.”

In a day when power was not as important as efficiency, the up-draft carburetor, combined with the four cylinders and a manual “three in the floor” transmission was adequate to propel the vehicle at an accepted speed of around 35 miles per hour.

Starting the car was more complicated than merely turning a key. Mounted on each side of the steering column were two levers. The left lever was the ‘spark’ and the right was a ‘manual accelerator’.

These levers must be operated in sequence. If the battery was charged; the first order of business was to turn the key to the on position. The spark lever was then raised to reduce the compression of the engine. Then the accelerator lever was lowered and with the right foot depressing the starter button. located at the junction of the floorboard and the firewall;  At the same time; the right hand must also reach for; and ‘pull the choke rod- located; in front of the passenger seat’.

After the engine fired, the spark lever was lowered to smooth the idle of the engine. If the battery was dead, starting the car required two persons. While one manipulated the controls, the other stuck the manual crank through a hole just under the radiator and turned the crankshaft.  Care must be used here. If the machine should “MISFIRE,” the manual crank could break an arm.

Another option was If; by chance, the car was parked on a hill, manual starting could be accomplished by allowing the car to roll, placing the shift in second gear and “popping the clutch.”

Access to the rear seat was easily accomplished since the original “bucket” seats in front could be folded twice to allow for unencumbered entry. Many a young person, (including myself)’ learned to drive at an age, when it was necessary to fold the backrest down in order to see through the windshield. However, the driver’s legs must be long enough to reach the floor-mounted accelerator; (or foot-feed), as this was sometimes called.

Although not provided as standard equipment; an accessory was available in the form of a Manifold Heater. This was simply a metal hood that could be attached to the manifold of the engine. The end of this heater, nearest the fan and the front of the engine, was bell-shaped to allow air to be forced over the manifold and warmed.

It was then directed through a hole in the firewall directly in front of the passenger side and into the car. However, this was much less efficient than the rest of the vehicle; therefore, winter travel required the use of comforters and / or warm clothing.

Maintenance usually was provided by the owner and was simplicity itself. It has been said that the Model A could be kept in tip-top condition for years with only a pair of Vise-Grip Pliers”, and a coil of “Hay-Bale Wire”.

Unlike today’s jammed engine compartments, every part of the engine could be easily accessed. An occasional grease job,;a few oil changes; and sporadic spark plug changes, were pretty much the extent of required maintenance.

Although not as comfortable as our modern vehicles, the Model A served its owners well. Comparatively speaking; this vehicle was much more of a value at a cost of around six to eight hundred dollars than today’s everything; automatic, computerized, automobiles.

I would gladly purchase a new Model-A today and spend the rest of the $20/30,thousand dollars plus;, that is the going price for many of today’s automobiles, proudly chug-a-lugging along the nation’s highways. I am not in that big a hurry anyway.

I am surprised that the popularity of today’s antique automobile shows has not encouraged Ford Motor Company to,  Re-invent the Model-A.

If, by chance, they decide to bring the original plans out of mothballs, I will suggest to them that the first vehicle off the assembly line should be a coupe with a rumble seat and a manifold heater included as standard equipment.

Of course, an added incentive would be to offer the vehicle at the original price range of around $600,00; in order to appeal to cheapskates such as myself.

“So; children:”  “Go on to the moon and back.”  “I just want to drive my Model A to the store for my afternoon ‘R. C. Cola,’ and ‘Square Cheese Cracker”

Demijon

WHY???

Inquisitive minds of children have asked this question for generations and for the most part, have received basically the same response; Because!”  In certain instances, this response has varied with the addition of that’s the way it’s done” or “Go ask your Mother:”  But as a general rule the answer remains the same; Because I said so.”

Children of my time were taught at an early age that to question a parent was grounds for a trip to the woodshed followed by one or the other parent with a hickory in hand. No one considered this child abuse but merely a form of training in order to assure that the child will grow up to BE somebody”.

Psychologist today tell us that the failure to explain to a child, in detail, exactly why we make such a decision will result in a severe complex and they will grow up to hate their parents. Baloney!”

I cannot accept the fact that training a child to respect their parents as well as others will leave permanent scars. As they grow older, they have the ability to realize that this teaching was in their best interest.

In most cases, the reason that an explanation was not given was simply that the parent knew that understanding of the situation was beyond the comprehension of the child, and that they could be protected from harm without complicating matters.

I wonder if the only reason that George Washington became a great leader and President, was the fact that his father explained to him in minute detail just why it was necessary to frail the living daylights out of him; when he disobeyed and chopped the cherry tree down, (and I DO believe that the young’un got his tail whipped)”. “I’m pretty darned sure that he did.)”  I also firmly believe that Papa Washington used the term, Because I said so.”

As children grow older, they begin to understand that those decisions were made for their benefit. They can then appreciate this fact. I distinctly remember one of our Son’s remarking; (when he observed), an unruly child, having a “Hissie-fit” at a public gathering; You and Mom taught us better than that.”

I cannot remember just what incidents he was referring to; but I am reasonably sure that when he was corrected he asked, WHY?” and received the reply, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

Demijon

Definition of the word ‘WRONG’:  “What everyone else is.”      Dj.

Posted in Uncategorized

NEW DEVELOPMENT

Posted on March 18, 2018 by John Sellers

The young couple with a small child began to think about owning a new home. The year was 1956 and they had only been married for three years. The fact that their income was limited and they had a small child did not deter them from investigating the possibility of ownership. They discovered a development where new brick homes were being offered in the $12,000.00 to $14,000.00 range; with a minimum down payment. They even went so far as selecting a plan for a three bedroom, one bath, home of around 1,000 sq. feet.

Their next problem was to find a source for a down payment. Once this amount was secure, they felt they could manage the small monthly payments. The offer of a loan for the small down payment sealed the deal as far as they were concerned.

They eagerly affixed their signatures to a contract with a thirty-year mortgage and a payment schedule of $71.00 each month.  Fortunately, the man had been in the Military and was eligible for a Government Insured (G.I. loan) at an interest rate of only 4-1/2 percent. Neither of them considered the fact that 30 years was a long time. Both were too enthused about ownership in lieu of paying rent. Neither did the clause in the contract that would assess a penalty for paying the balance of the mortgage early bother either of them.

Thanksgiving day in 1956, they moved their meager belongings into their own, new, house and stayed there for a period of thirty-five years. Another son was born two years later and both of the children remained in this small house until they entered college. The house that seemed so big to the young couple became quite cramped as the children grew; however, they coped with it as best they could.

During the last few years of the mortgage period, the lender began sending notices that, “Out of the goodness of our heart, we will allow you to pay the balance of the mortgage early without a penalty.”

No. They didn’t all of a sudden feel sorry for those of us who were saddled with a thirty-year mortgage. Rather, they would be much happier to get rid of the 4-1/2 percent loan in favor of the current 8 or 9 percent interest rates.

Many of the letters told of how we could use our money rather than make the mortgage payments; Take a world tour. Buy a new car. Vacation overseas, etc. Little did they realize how hard-hearten and stubborn this young couple had become after struggling with those payments for thirty years.

To prove a point; The last payment was made on the last month of the thirty-year contract…

A full sixteen days late.  We know because: “We  were there.”
Demijon

I wonder how I could be over the hill when I don’t remember being on top of it.

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A SIMPLE INJECTION!

Posted on March 18, 2017  by John Sellers Uncategorized

On a similar note; When I was 64 years old, (three months shy of Medicare age), I requested a influenza shot from a Doctors office. Being the frugal person that I am, I asked the cost. “$15.00,” was the reply.

“What if I wait until January and let Medicare pay,” I asked. “In that case, the cost would be $31.00:”  Was the answer. The Nurse continued, “We are required by law to charge $31.00 if Medicare is paying.

My point of issue, then and now is; “If filling out a simple claim form for Medicare is worth $16.00? I have spent a lifetime of slaving in the wrong business.”

Demijon

Getting old means; ~~ “Your knees buckle, and your belt won’t.”   Dj.

Posted on Mach 18, 2017 by John Sellers Uncategorized

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DON’T THROW THAT OLD T.V. AWAY; YA;HEAR?

They came in the mail yesterday. The DIGITAL / HD? converter vouchers that I ordered to recycle the antiqued TV connected to “Rabbit-Ears” that sits in the corner of the office.
After questioning the Associate at “Best-Buy;” at length to explain the pros & cons of the different models and the performance of each, I selected one that was priced, included taxes, at $64,04.

I waited until the cashier totaled the cost and then I smugly presented my $40.00 voucher. She deducted the voucher from the total and I walked out with the feeling that; “I had finally gotten a bargain.”

The TV that I was attempting to recycle has been sitting in the office for years and would only receive two local channels. Imagine my surprise when I perused the instruction manual and connected the converter to the set. Instead of the two ‘Snowy’ channels; the old TV responded with ’19 channels‘ in remarkable clarity. I spent several hours this morning happily flipping through the channels and marveling at the fact that I could almost count the hairs on the Weatherman’s head.

Thankfully, the children presented us with a ’32 inch, Flat Screen, H/D, digital TV’ for Christmas several years ago.  This set is connected to Cable Access in the living room and will not need a converter box. However, I could not reasonably think of going to the expense of installing cable in the office.

When the announcement was made that the Government would cancel ALL analog channels as of February, 2009, I began looking at the wide array of new, flat screen digital / HD sets to replace the 18 year old set in the office.

We’re still talking about hundreds upon hundreds of dollars here. Just as I resigned myself to either watch the only two blurry channels or enjoy television in the living room: I discovered the offer of $40.00 vouchers to reduce the cost of converter boxes.

Not only am I happy with the reception, I am not required to seek a “co-signer” to purchase a new TV.  To those who are not dependent on a fixed income, the prior sentence may seem a bit strange; but considering our fragile budget, it would have been necessary.

For once; “The Government has finally done something right.”

I can remember when a POKE” was used to carry stuff in and had nothing to do with the connection of a fist in someone’s face.    Dj.


UNCLE “CY.”

My uncle was named CYRUS, and he was the second younger sibling born to my Grandparents.  My father was the first-born in the family of six children.  As an adult, uncle CYRUS was known throughout the community as “CY.”  He was (like my father) a farmer, who moonlighted as a blacksmith.

He maintained a shop in the adjacent town, that was the County Seat; some ten miles from his home.  Although not a resident, he became a permanent fixture in the village on weekends and on days when wet weather prevented any work on the farm.

Every Spring, he would buy a small ad in the local newspaper to announce; “I will be in my office every Saturday and rainy days from now until further notice.”  This was more or less his calling card, and would serve as notification for his customers to bring the mules and horses that were in need of new shoes to his office on the appointed days.

One of the quirks of my uncle was that he would never leave the house without his hat.  He was also extremely ticklish in the vicinity of his neck.  He usually did not wear a tie, but he always kept his shirt buttoned to the top.

Uncle “CY” became fast friends with the County Sheriff who, incidentally, dearly loved to play practical jokes on his friends and especially on uncle CYRUS.  The Sheriff patrolled the town on horseback and it was not unusual for him to ride by CY’S OFFICE during his tour of duty.

On one particular Saturday, the Sheriff rode by and casually lifted uncle CY’S  hat from his head and hung it on his saddle horn.  (Now, you have got to know that the nearest that uncle CYRUS ever came to using profanity was to use the word “DAN.”)  For the rest of that day, uncle CYRUS worked bare-headed and was constantly heard to mutter “DANNIT, IF I EVER GET MY HANDS ON THAT SHERIFF, I’LL KILL HIM; EVEN IF HE LOCKS ME UP!”

Shortly after I began dating the girl who later became my wife, she accompanied me to the annual homecoming service at our church.  After preaching, and before the ‘dinner on the grounds’, I pointed to uncle CYRUS and told Sue that he was my favorite uncle and if she wanted to make an impression on him; she should hug his neck.

Can you imagine the shock she experienced when she sought the acceptance from my favorite relative, and wrapped her arms around his neck.  He immediately whirled around and said; DANNIT; IF YOU TOUCH ME AGAIN, I’LL KILL YOU!”  Needless to say; it was years before she would as much as shake hands with anyone else in the community.

She was a town girl and was unaccustomed to the ways of us country folks.  She’s a good old girl but at first, she was; and still is, just a bit “Quare.”

Perhaps this incident is why she has never believed anything I have said for all these sixty-five years.  I think that she has been afraid that I have another relative who hates affection to the point that he would do bodily harm to the assailant.  Therefore; she has been skeptical of most of my kinfolks.

Demijon

You’ll just have to excuse me, but I hate to confuse myself with the facts.