“ENJOY THE WORLD” – ‘AT HOME’

The first one was an oblong box of perhaps fourteen inches in height. The top was somewhat rounded at the outside corners. The front was adorned with two knobs and a small fan-shaped dial, inside of which were a series of numbers and a red needle-like pointer. Except for the intricate tubes and wires, the back was hollow. There was a legitimate reason for this vacancy.

A dry-cell battery that supplied the power for the unit must be plugged in and slid into this cavity. A length of wire called an Aerial, connected to the base of the power transformer and strung through a window to a long pole outside the house completed the installation. Our family now owned our “FIRST RADIO.”

Everyone in the family was cautioned about turning on this wondrous gadget. The battery must be saved for important purposes like the war news, with Edward R. Murrow fading in and out from London, England.

However, these warnings were sometimes ignored by myself and my siblings if we were lucky enough to be alone in the house at the time for Let’s Pretend, Jack Armstrong – All American Boy, or Gangbusters to be aired; and, of course, Hi-Yo-Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again.

Although inclement weather often affected reception, there were times during favorable conditions, and if the aerial was high enough, that stations as far away as W.C.K.Y. in Cincinnati, Ohio, could be received or we would sit entranced as we listened to the harmony of Lula Belle and Scotty from station K.N.O.X. in Knoxville, Tennessee.

As a general rule we were allowed one or two programs after supper and the evening news. Usually these programs were Amos & Andy, Lum & Abner, or perhaps Fred Allwn. It was also not unusual for some of our neighbors, who as yet did not own a radio, to gather in our living room to listen and laugh at the antics of these popular personalities. The one program which was hardly ever missed was the Saturday night Grand Ole Opry, coming from clear channel – W.S.M., in Nashville, Tennessee.

The veracity of radio celebrities was never doubted and names like Minnie Pearl, String Bean, George D, Hayes (the solemn old judge), Eddie Arnold, and (local- W.B.T.’s) Grady Cole became liken unto family members. If they said that Martha White flour was good, no one would take exception to this fact.

In the early to Mid-1940’s, electricity came to the rural areas through the inauguration of the R.E.A. (Rural Electrification Administration). Poles and wires were strung throughout the countryside and to almost every house. Radios became smaller because of no need to house batteries. A simple wire plugged into the overhead socket supplied the power, and the radio became a constant companion for most households.

I suppose that the worse let-down for me; was when I learned that LUM & ABNER did not, in fact, work in the Jot-um-Down Store: That Kingfish and the lodge of The Mystic Knights of the Sea did not exist: That the hoof beats of Silver were created by a sound engineer: And the castles, kings and dragons of Let’s Pretend, were only words read; by actors standing on either side of a Microphone.

Today, we are aware of all of the technology required to produce Radio as well as Television programs; but to a young innocent boy in the days of yore, it was the real thing. Even now, in my mind, I can visualize AMOS, sitting in his Taxicab and KINGFISH leaning against the door, discussing the antics of SAPPHIRE: Or hear the thundering hoof beats of the great horse, SILVER, and the hearty “HI-YO-SILVER; A-WAY!” as the LONE RANGER and TONTO sought yet another wrong to be righted.

Demijon

A vivid imagination was all that was necessary to make any radio program real. “I KNOW: I’ve BEEN THERE!” Dj.

“For Shame!” “To say the least.”

I suppose that one could possibly interpret this article as a debate between the “haves” and the “haves – nots.” but it is something that I have grappled with for most of my young life; The issue of MONEY.

Everyone knows that in this country an election campaign can cost upwards of millions of dollars. Just where does a person who attempts to venture into the political arena begin in their search for sufficient funds to underwrite such an undertaking? Right! They begin with the “haves.” There is no time to bother with the nickel and dime contributions. They must secure ample financing long before they even consider their platform.

Millions are pledged or donated to the candidate for various reasons: Not the least of which are promises of support for a favorite act of legislation; if the candidate is successful and triumphs in their bid. Multiply these dollars by the number of prospective contestants and you have a rough estimate of the mind-boggling amount that is spent for each election. Add to this a high five-to-six figure income for the winner and you can quickly see that the cost is more than an average citizen will realize in their lifetime.

I am certainly not so naive that I believe a campaign can be successfully administered without the expenditure of vast amounts of money, and that is far from the purpose of this article.

Possibly the uppermost in my assessment would be that before the candidate can be permitted to perform any work, there must be gala affairs combined with their swearing-in ceremonies; at the cost of another million dollars or more. Other millions are spent encouraging constituents to join in their efforts to bulldoze a promised proposal through the Congress.

THEN: When the spending runs rampant and it becomes clear that something must be done to balance a budget: ALL heads turn to the livelihoods of guess who. The “Have-Nots!” They are the ones who lack the power and the money to resist.

Not one word is mentioned of curtailing any of the lavish spending during a campaign. Not one word is mentioned of eliminating the extravagant festivities that presumably are essential for participation in governmental service. Not one word of reducing the insignificant travel arrangements, which accomplish no more than an extended vacation for the legislator. No one speaks of reducing the amounts given to countries that have nothing but scorn for us until it’s time for another handout. AND, heaven forbid: No talk of applying a small percentage of THEIR five-to-six figure income to the reduction of the budget. To do this could alter the amount of THEIR pension, which is already sufficient enough that they have no need for the negligible amount that Social Security would pay to them. “Nuff said!”

It is so much easier to sever the lifeline of the poor and elderly. Giving credence to this line of thinking is the assumption that if these folks have never enjoyed prosperity, there is no reason to believe that: Their affluence will be missed. After all, the only thing that these people can afford to contribute is one vote, and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this vote can be purchased with the promise of an insignificant tax cut.

Obviously, I am not schooled in the field of high finance, but I fail to understand the importance of a tax cut when the country is in such dire need that, after receiving this tax break, thousands will be required to return as much or more to the treasury in the form of reduced subsistence.

It is truly sickening to hear of all the wasteful squandering of tax dollars; and then hear some “Multi-“Millionaire Member of the Congress assert that the only antidote is to take the food from the mouths of people who struggle to survive, their only hope being the paltry checks from Social Security and the equally small assistance that Medicare or Medicaid provides. I have always been under the impression that we’re ALL in this together.

Apparently; dedicated politicians, that possess either conscience or concern are definitely in the minority.

Demijon

The Demijon Blog

“I’VE BEEN TOLD.”

As a young adult, I had dreams of starting my own business. The main problem with this was that I had no prior training in any kind of commercial enterprise. Simply put, I would have to create the field of endeavor that I wished to excel in.

My first efforts were to revolutionize the accepted methods of raising cotton. While most farmers planted their crops in rows, my system would be to randomly sow the seeds to ultimately save time and labor when gathering the fluffy fruit.

Farmers from all over came to marvel at the dark green sheen of the plants as they grew and to stand in awe and admiration of the unique mod-us operand-i of the perpetrator of this innovative approach to cotton farming.

However, a slight problem arose at gathering time. Whereas, I had inadvertently planted the seeds upside down, the fluffs of cotton had to be dug from the ground. One season was enough to end this enterprise.

Undaunted by this failure, I turned to potato farming. This too, required my remarkable mind to work overtime and find a way to grow the fruit with less effort. Knowing that potatoes mature underground prompted me to arrange the rows up and down a steep hill and allow gravity to aid in harvesting.

Observers asked if heavy rains caused the rows to wash down and my reply was, “Yes: but it makes a place at the bottom that plows mighty good.” My ideas were, instead of digging each row, all that would be necessary would be to dig a hole at the bottom and hold a sack.

Alas: this business too was doomed to fail simply because; when gathering time came, it was impossible to change sacks fast enough. Back to the old planning board.
My next venture was to transform the building of chimneys. Being observant of the age-old methods of constructing a chimney in an upward fashion, I began building at the top and worked my way to the bottom. Unfortunately, this project was also abandoned due to the fact that I had miscalculated and when I reached the bottom of the first chimney, there was no room for the last brick without cutting it.

After several more attempts at self-employment ended in a somewhat similar manner; I resigned myself to a lifelong endurance of leaving the planning to the Boss and doing only two things; “To show up when scheduled; and to be on time.” There was always someone there to tell me exactly what to do.

You would be surprised at how much money was saved from the purchase of Aspirin and Antacids.

Demijon

“FOOLPROOF OPERATION”: Allows No provisions for adjustments. Dj.

“BEFORE ‘SUPER-MALLS”

How did people get along before shopping malls became a way of life? Very well, thank you. I know because I was there.
Merchandising outlets were what many would call “general stores” but were usually referred to as “THE STORE” by most of the rural and small town citizens. They housed about anything that a family needed to sustain them from groceries to hardware to basic clothing. They were also the center for local news as well as opinions on anything from politics to the outcome of wars. Some even served as polling places during elections and as courtrooms, if the owner/operator happened to be the magistrate.
During the workweek, the cliental consisted mostly of men in search of parts for machinery, and supplies that had been forgotten during the Saturday “shopping spree.” There was usually a flurry of business around noon as youngsters were sent to buy ICE for theTEA or “Penny Drink.” The operator would then open the huge, wooden ice box, chip off what he thought to be “’bout a dimes worth.” After tying a string around the block and recording the purchase to the families continuous running account, he would inquire, “Your Daddy through with his plowing?” and send them on their way with melting ice water dripping on bare feet.

Saturday was customarily a busy day when entire families would gather to buy what they thought would be needed during the next week. This also afforded a time to visit neighbors, here for the same purpose, and to catch up on any news and gossip that heretofore had passed them by. After purchasing what they needed and (“putting it on my bill”), they returned home for another week of hard work. “THE STORE” was never opened on Sunday unless a dire emergency arose, and then it was closed afterwards. Sunday was NOT a day to conduct business.

Shopping for school clothes and winter wear somewhat deviated from the normal in that the most of this shopping consisted of looking through the big Sears catalog. After deciding on what was needed, shoe box lids were placed on the floor and footprints traced on them to insure proper size and the orders were mailed. Money orders, purchased at “THE STORE” usually accompanied the order since many did not have checking accounts and charge cards were unheard of. You might say that “THE STORE” was the nerve center of any community. The social gathering place for people that did not have the means; nor, the desire; to travel to the larger cities. It was a place where you were not required to SIGN for every purchase and your promise to pay was sufficient. A place in which most of your needs could be filled and where you were assured that your business was appreciated and most of all, you were among friends. Overheard: from a field of fluffy COTTON:
“Bobby; run down to the Store and get a dimes worth of Ice and a package of GRAPE, Penny Drink.” “Tell Mr. Walters to; ‘Put it on my bill.” “Make Haste, Now.” “We have to pick this Cotton before it rains.”

“OUR” “NEIL.”

I am sure that, as a child; this young man often repeated the rhyme; “Twinkle, Twinkle, little star. How I wonder where you are.” Or perhaps sang the popular tune; “Moonlight becomes you;” to the girl of his dreams. Typically, like many of our youth; his ‘eyes were on the skies;’ with the hope that one day, he would experience the wonder of the stars.

Ironically, NEIL ARMSTRONG earned a pilot’s license: Before he had even acquired a driver’s license. He grew up to become a test pilot and flew over 200 different types of Aircraft; along with 79 combat missions during the Korean Police Action. From many of his fellow pilots in the U.S. Military; he was selected in 1962 to become a part of the relatively new “NASA.” “OUR, “Space Program”.

He spent years of rigorous training before being officially qualified as an “ASTRONAUT;” to represent America in the world-wide Space Race. All of his service to his Country was conducted with only the pay of a Military Officer. He was not offered, not did he request, the enormous salaries of millions of dollars, that athletes of the same period enjoyed.

He was Commander of the space craft Genimi-8, when a thrust-er rocket malfunctioned. He remained cool and calm as he informed the space command of the crisis with the now famous; “HOUSTON: WE HAVE A PROBLEM:” Calling on all his knowledge and experience, he successfully brought the space craft safely home.

His calm announcement of, (“Houston, We have a problem.”), has been quoted by many of us “Earthlings” when we experience a mistake or a malfunction of some product. “Hundreds of “PARATROOPERS;” (Myself, included); felt safer, if “NEIL” had drawn the unsavory task of piloting us to the appointed, “DROP ZONE.”

On July 20, 1969, a static-filled, voice reverberated from radios throughout the world. “Tranquility Base Here;” “The Eagle Has Landed.” This was followed with the immortal words; “ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN!” – “ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND!” At age 38, Neil Armstrong had the distinction of being the first human to set foot on the SURFACE OF THE MOON.

The well known Officer continued to serve his Country as an Astronaut until he retired in 1971; to teach Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati for another decade. He had certainly earned the right to a more leisurely lifestyle; but he felt that sharing his knowledge and experience with other “Wannabe’s” would make their transition from student to Astronaut much easier.

However, on August 25, 2012, Neil Armstrong took his ultimate flight to join other “World Hero’s” in their Heavenly Homes.

Neil passed away as a result of cardiovascular problems at age 82. America, as well as the entire world mourns the passing of another True American HERO. All Americans; and many other Countries, continue to send their condolences and prayers to the family of our “HERO:” “NEIL ARMSTRONG.” the real; “(MAN ON THE MOON.)” His career will serve as a beacon; to inspire others to make “GIANT LEAP’S FOR MANKIND.”
Demijon

“DEERE BRO – 1”

“I am sending this to let you know I am still alive an’ kickin’. I am writing this real slow, ’cause I know you can’t read too fast. You won’t know our house, the next time you come up here. ’cause we’ve moved.”
“We had a bunch of trouble moving, ‘specially with the bed. The man wouldn’t let us take it in the Taxi, and we thought it would wake Bubba up; if we shipped it by U.P.S.”
I’ve got a nice new job up here, and it’s a very responsible position. I have about 500 people under me. I cut the grass at the cemetery.” “Our neighbors, across the creek; the Browns:” “They started raising pigs about two months ago. We just got wind of it yesterday.”
“There were a washing machine already in this new house when we got here; but it don’t work too good. It is white and is settin’ on the floor in the bathroom. Last week I put 4 shirts in the darned thing, and pushed that lever on the side. Them shirts whirled around real good; but then they disappeared. I think something is wrong with it.”
“Your Uncle Jerome drowned two weeks ago. He fell in a barrel of whiskey at his Distillery. Two Firemen jumped in to save him; but he fought them off for over four hours.” “We cremated his body last Monday.” “We just got the fire put-out, late yesterday evening.”
“Ma went to the doctor last week. He put a tiny little pill in her mouth and told her not to open it for fifteen minutes. I tried my best, to buy a whole bottle of them pills from him; but Ma; she talked me out’nt it.” “Said they didn’t taste very good.”
“It rained here only twice last week: Once, for three days and then; for four more days.” “Got a letter from the Undertaker this morning.” “He said if we don’t make the last payment on your grandma’s grave?;” “Up she comes.”
“Bubba:” “He ‘low’ed as how,” “If that Undertaker went an’ ‘Upped Her,’ that we ought to “Sic’ th’ Law on him!” “Said some of them shyster-lawyers would, “jump on it like a dog on a bone.”
I was going to send you that $10.00 I owe you, but I had already sealed the envelope when I thunk ’bout hit. I complained to the Post Office this morning, because this envelope wasn’t nothing like this dirty when I mailed it. You know them P.O. folks ain’t too careful when they reads another fellers mail. “You told me; last time I talked to you, that Donna-Faye is “in a family way.” “You forgot to tell me, jus’ when she is s’posed to “git-down.”
“They’s a few of them Diapers left; whot that washing machine ain’t swallered; and Bubba ain’t used.” “You’d better “rench-em” out,” ‘fore you put arr’in on.” “Write if y’all find work.” “Y’all come, now; Ya’hear? Bro-2.

“IT HAPPENS”

“No one is exactly sure; why this happens:” “But happen it does.” “Once, one reaches the age of fifty years or so: The brain begins to shut down.” “Gone are the days when you can recite from memory, the first, middle, and last, names of all your acquaintances. You are lucky to even remember your own.”

I can vaguely recall the time when it was not necessary to jot down everything that anyone said in order to remind myself that I did, in fact, hear it. Not only is this embarrassing, it can sometimes be downright humiliating. For instance, when you are introduced to a person and five minutes later you are unable to remember their name. What usually happens is that you mutter some unintelligible words to disguise the fact that you don’t know who in the hell they are. And then, you wonder why they look at you so strangely.

To make matters worse, people who suffer from CRS will refuse to admit that it is they who are devoid of all sense of recollection. “If they would only speak up, then I would have no problem,” “They are quick to say.”
When this illness is combined with an acute loss of hearing, the result is, at best, catastrophic. Anyone who is unable to hear well and to remember even less is perhaps one of the most likely candidates for the dumb-ass of the year award. Certainly, they are not a contender for a listing in the best personality file.

I am not aware of any cure for this handicap. I suppose that the best we can hope for is for the younger set to carry pictures of themselves with their names printed on the back and dispense them to all sufferers of this dreaded disorder. Then, all that would be necessary to remember the names would be to match the picture with the name. The only problem that I can see with this would be that we could not remember in which pocket we had placed the pictures. Example: I received this message from a friend.

Bob was having dinner with a couple who had been married over 60 years. While the wife was preparing dinner, the husband kept asking her; ~~ “Sweetheart, Can I peel the potato’s for you?” ~~ “Darling, can I set the table?” ~~ “Snookums: Should I put the steaks on the grill?”
Bob finally said to the husband: “I think this is amazing. You have been married over 60 years, and yet, you still use these terms of endearment for your wife.” The husband replied; “To tell the truth; I forgot her name over two years ago and I am afraid to ask her what it is.”

I have a request for all of you youngsters. “Please extend a little sympathy for those of us who are afflicted:” “After all, your time is coming”

Demijon

Old is when; “If you are Invited; by a Spouse, to go upstairs and ‘MAKE LOVE:’ And your reply is, quickly:” “PICK ONE:” “I can’t do both!” Dj.