A Sack of “Taters”

In the years before entitlements, ‘Country folk’s were a proud lot. They asked no quarter of anyone beyond the opportunity to earn their own subsistence. While they were far from content with their meager livelihood; they nevertheless accepted the fact that if one did not earn their daily bread: “They simply done without.”

Quite different from many of today’s generation; wouldn’t you say? Dependency on entitlement program’s has risen to the point that some people have made a career or two from simply filling out a few papers and then waiting for the letter carrier.

They are not disturbed in the least by the fact that the constantly rising tax burden for the rest of society is a direct result of their refusal to comply with the old adage of: “A days work for a days pay.” It is their contention that they are owed this income because they are alive and breathing.

Entitlement programs were created as an aid to those that are unable to earn a living due to circumstances beyond their control and not for those unwilling to take advantage of the opportunities available to them

I am a staunch believer in a balanced budget. In fact, I have never understood how the leaders in government allowed the country to get this far in debt. Even during past Wars; we managed to keep our heads pretty much above the surface of the water, and now, here we are with an economy greater than any country in the world. Yet, we are unable to “Pay as we go.”

Aside from a catastrophe, no individual would be allowed to venture into debt to the point that he could never pay even as much as the interest. If, in fact, the said individual reached this point, the powers that be, would insist that HE / SHE be the ones to suffer from this mistake rather than expecting the rank and file to bail them out.

Not so with today’s lawmakers. While seeking election, all Candidates align themselves with the average taxpayer and yet, once elected, not once have any of them agreed to relinquish any part of their windfalls to help the downtrodden or to bolster a weak economy. They also, seem intimidated by the hoards of voters who are determined not to “Strike a Lick”” and yet are able to live beyond the means of the average citizen.

Perhaps they are convinced that the elderly; or the infirm; and the unfortunate, have never been accustomed to a decent living; therefore, it would not affect them as adversely as the ones who consider it their Just Dues.

I am reminded of a farmer from the community where I was raised. His wife had been plagued for many years with poor health and required frequent visits to a Doctor.

The Doctor was aware of their financial situation and made no charges for the treatments. Nevertheless; after each visit, the man would help his wife into the cab of the pick-up truck and return to the Doctor’s office with a sack of potatoes and say, “Doc; I ‘preciate what you’ve done an;’ I brung you some sweet ‘Taters fer pay. Tha’s all I got, but I won’t be b’holden to nobody.”

Now, this is what America is all about. It is truly a shame that some of today’s elected leaders have never known such a man.

The answer to our dilemma is really quite simple. Create work for the able-bodied. Stop payments to the ones who refuse to help themselves. Reduce the salaries of Government Officials to within the range of average persons. Practice restraint in regard to the wholesale allocations to other Countries that have nothing but scorn for us until we dangle another fistful of money before them. Then to change the tax laws to require an equal percentage from all inhabitants: Regardless of their status.

By adopting these modest changes, it would be a relatively short span between debt and prosperity. Moreover: The truly needy could be compensated with a livelihood: More in keeping with that of everyone else.

“A Sack Of ‘Sweet ‘Taters” is a small price to pay for the unified, Debt-Free society envisioned by our Forefathers.

It’s my opinion and I’m glad I said it.

Posted in Uncategorized


My uncle Cyrus was my Fathers younger brother. He was a farmer and, like daddy; moonlighted as a Blacksmith on Saturdays and during inclement weather.

He and Aunt Carrie raised five sons and two daughters. Uncle Cyrus had a couple of quirks about his dress. Number-1: He would not venture outside without his hat. Number- 2: He was extremely ticklish around his neck and would always keep the top button of his shirts fastened at all times; whether or not he was wearing a necktie. The nearest he ever came to cursing was the use of the word “DAN,” instead of DAMN.

He was a fun loving person as demonstrated by the many times when the family would be relaxing on the porch. One or another of the sons would slip behind his father and tickle his neck. This always resulted in a loud, “DAN YOUR HIDE;” and all the males would literally roll on the floor tangled in a semblance of World-Wide Wrestling.

His blacksmith shop (that he called, my office), was located in a town some ten miles from his home. When driving back and forth, he felt that 35 miles per hour was sufficient for any human and would usually have vehicles lined up behind him with shouts of, “Get outta the way,” or worse.

To assure himself that he was in compliance with the law, he sought the opinion of a friend who was a Highway Patrolman. He was told to simply pull over when traffic backed up and then continue at his chosen speed.

Once, while he was working at ‘his Office‘, his friend, the Sheriff, rode by on his horse. He simply leaned down from the saddle and calmly lifted Uncle Cyrus’ hat and hung it on the saddle horn.

“DAN YOUR HIDE! GET OFF THAT HORSE AND I’LL KILL YOU,” shouted my Uncle; much to the amusement of the audience that was usually around the workshop. The Sheriff continued his patrol with the hat while Uncle Cyrus fumed.

One of the first outings after our wedding, my young bride and I attended was homecoming service at my home church. It was customary for the congregation to gather outside after the service for a brief catch-up before the dinner on the grounds.

While taking this opportunity to introduce my new bride to relatives and friends, I whispered to her. “That tall man talking to my daddy is my favorite Uncle Cyrus. Why don’t you introduce yourself to him and hug his neck?”

With all her child-like innocence, she walked up behind him and said, “I’m Sue,” and threw her arms around his neck. The usual shout of “DAN YOUR HIDE! I’LL KILL YOU!” issued forth from Uncle Cyrus before turning to see who had committed such an infraction.

I rushed to the rescue of my bride from that monstrous man before she suffered a bad case of The Vapors;

For a number of years thereafter; all it took to push her button, was to shout, “Dan Your Hide!” The two of them did eventually become friends.

I’m not sure whether of not The County Sheriff had the nerve to again rob Uncle Cyrus of his hat; but I am certain that the two of them were life-long friends also.

Even Saturday traffic on the ten mile stretch of highway between his home and his office became accustomed to moving 35 miles per hour, as Uncle Cyrus traveled back and forth from his moonlighting job.


A true story with a moral: This was a lesson, hard learned for me. Don’t ‘EVER; EVER’ ask an innocent young bride to approach a relative in such a fashion. Dj.

I suppose, I’ll never understand…

There are many things about the American people and our language that leaves me completely baffled.
For instance; number – 1. “The craze over weight loss”.
Why in the world will a person order a double Cheeseburger, a large order of French Fries; a huge hunk of Pie, and a diet Pepsi?
Number – 2. “Protection for the second most expensive item; our Car.” We build additions onto our houses called garages and then stuff them full of discarded items while the vehicles sit exposed to the elements.
Number – 3. “A guarantee for both?” “We order a Pizza and receive a guarantee that if it is not delivered within a certain length of time there will be no charge.” “Why can’t we get the same guarantee for an Ambulance or a Policeman?”
Number- 4. “Why is the word politic used to describe the vote seeking process when the dictionary’s number 2 definition is crafty; unscrupulous?”
Number – 5. “If the past tense of Teacher is Taught:” “Why isn’t the past tense of Preacher – Praught?”
Number -6. “If you discard all of your Odds and Ends but one;” What do you call it: “An Odd or an End?”
Number -7. “Eggplant contains no Eggs, Hamburgers contain no Ham, nor does Pineapple contain any Pine or Apples.”
Number – 8. “Was the forerunner of the Horseless carriage; a Horsefull carriage?” What about a “Strapfull Gown?”
Number 9.Why does a house “Burn up,” and then is considered “Burned down?”
Number 10. “Ever wonder why we “park our Car,” on Driveways; But “drive our Car’s,” on Parkways?
Number 11. “Writers write:” But “Fingers don’t Fing:” “Hammers don’t Ham,” Nor do “Grocers Groce.”
Number 12. “You cannot make one amend.” “You cannot search through the annal of history.”
Number 13. “If the plural of tooth is teeth”, why not booth / beeth,” or moose / meese?”
Number 14. How can the weather be “Hot as hell,” one day and “Cold as hell,” the next?
Number 15. “Vegetarian’s eat Vegetables;” “Does a Humanitarian eat Humans?”
Number 16.You write a letter and, “Bite your tongue.” If you “Wrote a letter”, would you have Bote your tongue?
Number 17. As you can readily see, I am totally Flabbergasted; because when, “I wind up my Watch, I start it.” But when “I wind up this Article, I end it.”



The answer was the same every time I met him. It always began; when he was greeted with the familiar words, “How are you.”
His response was consistent, “Worse, thank you:” “Hope you’re the same.” He was a confirmed hypochondriac who made no excuses for this bizarre trait. Whatever symptoms were mentioned, he claimed to have suffered at one time or another.
Given the opportunity, he could expound for hours on his ailments and the treatment of which did; “absolutely no good.” Notwithstanding was the fact that his appearance belied his belief that he was not well. Standing six feet tall and weighing two hundred and fifty pounds; he was the picture of perfect health.
He explained this as one of the positive symptoms of his declining fitness. “Sort of sneaks up on you.” “One day, you’re fine and then; ‘boom;’ you’re gone:” He is fond of saying.
Even those around him were subject to comparable illnesses. “Martha ain’t had a minute’s peace since she had the Flu, last fall.” “She has reached the point that she can’t hoe an entire row of cotton.” “Before she was afflicted; she was one of the best hoers in the county.”
Although his disabilities prevented him from securing and holding permanent employment: He was able to spend much of his time following his pedigreed foxhounds for entire evenings. This in itself caused much doubt in the community about the proficiency of diagnosis for his particular disorders.
Mixed feelings were prevalent throughout the county as to the true state of his health. There were those who felt extremely sorry for him and their offers of assistance were accepted with gratitude.
The others claimed that he was just lazy; and refused to be a part of his deception. It was to this latter group that he directed his latest response when asked about the state of his health. It was simply, “Compared to what?”
As he grew older, he became obsessed with the notion of making final preparations for his impending demise. He ordered an elaborate tombstone which was engraved with his name and the date of his birth. A space was left blank in which the date of his death would be engraved when the time came.
Underneath was inscribed, in beautiful script: The words…



Good – $12.45. Better – $19.95. Best – $24.68. One of America’s largest retail catalog stores has used this method of upgrading for years. How many of us would settle for the least expensive item when, for only a few dollars more, we can have the best? It allows a tremendous boost to our ego when we are able to say that the one we selected is “top of the line.”
However, in many cases; there is very little difference. More chrome on the “Better,” and the words ELITE on the “Best,” but the inner workings are identical. Performance from any of the three is essentially the same, so why are we obsessed with the idea that only the “Best” will serve our purpose? One theory is that if it is priced higher, it must be of better quality.
This is exactly what the manufacturing plant had in mind when they diverted some items from the assembly line in order to place on each the ELITE sticker; therefore, assuring appeal to the ones of us who scoff at ownership of second best. Since manufacturing costs are the same with the exception of the small amount of chrome and a three cent sticker, the profits are much greater. Dependency on our fetish for ownership of the; “top of the line,” has caused sales to skyrocket for the “Better” and the “Best.”
Recently another method of advertising has surfaced: It is the listing of certain items with the words, “Choice of Professionals.” If the repairman sports these tools or equipment; the die is cast. His hammer must be better than the one which we own that was rated as “Good.” After all, he depends on it for his livelihood. Perhaps the ownership of this high-quality hammer is responsible for his professional status. With this in mind, we rush to the store and make our purchase. We return to the Shop; and retire the “Good” hammer to the depths of the unused, rusting, tools underneath our workbench: We can now proudly display our latest acquisition. At last; we will be able to “Run with the Big Dogs.”
Although little thought is given to the fact that we hardly know which end of the hammer is the business end: We nevertheless can now, inspire awe and admiration from our peers.


I sit in my recliner and dream of places to go and things to do. With a road map at the ready and countless brochures scattered around, I plan mini-vacations to exotic locales only to be reminded by my child bride of better than sixty years that we have visited these sites in past years.
Discussions (sometimes heated) arise over the when and where of these trips, and I am informed that I suffer from an acute case of C.R.S. Since my wife possesses a mind like a steel trap, she does her best to convince me that the place in question was where she discovered those rare earrings and the favorite tee shirt. “Besides,” she states, “who wants to wander around and look at Rusted Farm Equipment? If you are determined to go somewhere, we could shop the new mall.”
Rejection of my elaborate plans to attend the Bluegrass Festival is accompanied by, “You’ve seen one. Isn’t that enough?” Or “I can’t stand that whiny singing. Why don’t we invite Jean and Dave to go with us to the Shoe Outlet? I am sure that they have many new styles to choose from since we were there.”
Despondent, I return to the maps and brochures hoping against hope that “Pedro’s Alligator Farm” will spark enough interest for at least a “Maybe.” My conniving brain begins to work overtime and I arrive at the conclusion that the only solution to this major dilemma would be to find a unique attraction that also includes a series of outlet shops on or near the premises.
Ahh: At last, the perfect place. “Junior’s Used Auto Parts and Hardware Emporium,” located next door to “Faye’s Tee Shirt and Jewelry Bazaar.” Here is reason enough for anticipation to replace the ultimate dismissal of an idea as so much folly. This is serious business. Having never shopped at Faye’s, she even becomes excited. “I’ll call Jean to find out which day would be convenient with her,” she says.
Not even the usual, “You’ve been there, done that and forgot,” sallied forth as she began to make lists of the things that she absolutely could not live without. Perhaps
the closest she would come to admitting that the idea had merit was the remark that; “Maybe you can find a starter for your truck and we will not have to push it. Now, drive over and get Jean while I figure out which credit card is not maxed out.”



I am not completely sure of the reason for the words leeward and windward. Webster defines leeward as the direction toward which the wind blows and windward as the direction from which the wind blows.
Now, to a simpleton like me this is somewhat confusing. If, for instance, I am facing south and the wind is blowing from the east, my left side would be to the leeward. Turn me around and to face north, my right side would be to the leeward. See what I mean? Would it not be much more accurate to designate the direction as east or west?
I see no logic in the use of the terms leeward and windward.
If I mentioned to anyone that I live in the leeward side of the county, they would have to determine from which direction the wind was blowing at the exact time which the statement was made. Perhaps, this is not a bad idea when giving directions to bill collectors. A change in the direction of the wind could possibly hide me forever.

Today, a change in the methods of speaking is, in itself, an ongoing process. What made perfect sense to persons decades ago, now is so much gobble-de-gook. If certain words have served their purpose and mean nothing in the present time, why are they not eliminated from revised editions of our dictionaries?
Today’s society is constantly fabricating new words for; it seems to me, no other purpose than to perplex me. How many of you know exactly what is meant by dewpoint? Why is this important to us? If it fails to rain, it’s dry. If it rains, it’s wet. What more do we need? Does it matter to us that the cool weather is brought about by a front?”

“My advice to those whose responsibility it is to forecast the weather; is to keep the terminology simple enough for us dumb-heads to understand, i.e., “You folks in the South are going to get some rain”. Y’all up North are going to be cold.”
Since the weather patterns are usually from west to east, wouldn’t it be simpler to say, “You folks in California are going to get the wind ‘fore the folks in New York.”
“Just think:” “If the Weather forecasts were simplified; there would be more time to tell us about; ‘REAL STUFF!” “You know what I’m talking about:” “Important Stuff: “Not sold in Stores!” “Something a-kin to:”

“If your Car is over ten years old;” —–“YOU NEED LIFE INSURANCE !!!” “Your Friendly Weatherman.” Dj.


“GRASS:” was something you chopped from the rows in your fields or garden, rather than stuff you rolled into funny cigarettes.
“YO – YO:” A Toy – operated by a string attached to your finger; and definitely not two dudes, answering in succession.
“RAP:” Was what you received across the head by a ruler, from your Teacher; if you failed to pay attention in class.
“INCENSE:” Was considered the amount of knowledge contained within a person’s head, and had nothing to do with the burning of smelly sticks.
“CHICKS:” Were simply the offspring of a Hen and a Rooster, and in no way, to be associated with the Female of 2the human species.
“LINE: Was a string, a rope, or even a straight mark, drawn on an even surface; and was not the description of someone who handled the truth loosely.
“POKE:” Was a container, used to carry ‘stuff’ in, but far from the connection of a fist with someone’s face.
“BLACK RACER:” The fasted-moving breed of reptiles; rather than an ‘African American’ who was swift of foot.
“DISCOUNT:” Merely; Bubba’s way of telling a story; You know. “Discount and Discountess, wuz ‘goin’ together.”
“UPPERCUT:” This word had nothing to do with fighting. It was simply a way of relating to your Barber, the type of haircut you desired.
Once you become familiar with using these words in the correct context; you just “may be” considered among the chosen few who, ‘have the audacity to think’ of themselves, as being just –“half as smart as we are.”

We are indeed, happy to share this important information with you: Whether you realize it or not; “It’s Lonely at the Top!”

Hit were ‘round Christmastime when SUSIE MAE: She flung a fit to go down thare in Florady an be wiff Rocky Phil and Jeddy. She sez to me; she sez, JAY HENRY, HONEY: Do you recon the truck’ll git us thare and back? I tolt her th’air wuz showing in most of th’ tires: But I recon’d Rocky Phil jus-mought have a re-cap he’d give us: “So we’uns sot out.
B’then we’uns got thare and had jus’ sot down, when Jeddy, she sez; “Y’all’s got to stay ‘til Sunday ‘cause Rocky Phil an’ Davie’s gonna put on a play at th’ Church. Well’sr; they wont no way to git SUSIE MAE to leave ‘cause she won’t ‘bout to budge then.
Come Sunday; we’uns put on our other clothes an’ went to watch them- Play-act. Hit were Rocky Phil’s time to preach so he come out an’ announced the play. SUSIE MAE, she commenced grinning and tolt everybody close to her that “He b’longs to me an’ Jay Henry.”
He had got some uv th’ younguns to set-up th’ pulpit th’way he wanted hit, and he commence Preachin. He had jus’ finished th’ sermon, an’ closed th’ curtin, when DAVIE come stumbling down th’ middle uv th’ Chrch an’ was mumblin’ to hisself. “Kept say’in, “WHARE IS HE?” “THAT OTHER ANGEL?” Whare? Whare?
SUSIE MAE jus’ ‘bout had a hissie, whenst she heard Rocky Phil hollering; “HEAR- I-IS.” I’SE A-COMING!”
Right ‘bout then; the curtin opened and thares Rocky Phil, a-hangin to a rope tied to the loft. He jumped down and the both uv them commenced they play. Hit were different frum what we’uns had ever seed before; but rale nice. Susie Mae, she kept diggin’ her elbow into my belly and asting; “Jay Henry, Honey? Does you recon’ these folks knows he b’longs to us’en? I tolt her that he had Mos-Probably tolt them that he got his’uns smarts frum us’ens
When hit were all over an’ th’ folks started to leave Ever-one uv’ them stood up an give ROCKY PHIL an’ DAVIE “Th’ CLAPS!”