“I suppose that I am just a mite old fashioned, but I find it harder and harder to converse with the youth of today. I was seated beside a young man at a dinner party recently, and I made an attempt to ask if he was employed. His answer was (I think), “Well, yeah, like, ‘you know’, I boogied down to the “QUICK-CHECK; and ask the old man? ”Do you need somebody to clean this joint up?’ and he goes, you know, like, “Cool.” So I: “You know”, sucked up to the old geezer, and like, you know; here I am.”
“With much desperately: I tried to remember what he said in order to question my sons as to his answer; Was it a yes or no?” “I am reasonably certain that he was not taught that this was the correct procedure for a job interview: But then; I have been told that I am out of touch with the real world; therefore, how would I know?”
“It has not been so long ago that a job interview involved “putting your best foot forward.” “Neatly dressed, shoes shined, hair combed and most importantly, presenting yourself as attentive, polite and enthusiastic.” “Perhaps the lack of this line of reasoning has contributed to the rise in unemployment.”
“A visit to any video arcade during a workday can attest to the fact that many young people favor entertainment in lieu of working.” “Dozens of young people are present on a daily basis, so engrossed in the operation of some video game that they were apparently oblivious of the help-wanted signs in the adjacent shops.” “I well remember when the mere mention of an opening for a job could prompt long lines of prospective applicants”.
“This brings up the subject of where do they get the money that they evidently have in abundance?” “I realize that some work different shifts and this would be considered their down-time:” but there are a few who are present morning, noon and night, with no visible means of support for their addiction to a “Video-Fix.”
“The point in all this rambling is simply that I do not understand youth.” During another time; youngsters were expected, no!: required, to earn at least part of their subsistence. Allowances were not feasible for a family who needed all of the income that they could get for survival. Also, I am not aware of any permanent scars on anyone who was required to help with this income.
Getting back to the interview of yesteryear: “You dressed neatly, talked intelligently, convinced them of your willingness to work hard and; ONLY: When you had secured the job did you “Suck up to the boss”
“Like, you know, “Hey man, I need more bread.”


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.”