Early last Thursday morning, I saw Phil Brady at the Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs. He had ridden his bike to the meeting and was dressed in his cycling gear. And when folks commented on his hardiness – riding his bike to work on such a crisp morning – Phil answered “I did it as a kid, so why not now.”
Well, I admire Phil for his get-up-and-go – I really should be riding my bike to work – but it made me think. How many things did I once do as a kid – which I don’t even want to think about doing now!
I’m sure you can think of many youthful pleasures now in the “no do” zone. For me, my list includes spinning amusement rides – I don’t really want to, shall I say, “share my lunch” with folks I don’t know; head stands, cartwheels and somersaults – anything where my head finds itself closer to the ground than my feet; jumping off 10 meter high diving platforms – the elder Bush can skydive to celebrate his 85th birthday, but me – I’m keeping my feet on the ground; and eating fourteen scoops of cheap vanilla ice cream (that was my record) on a sugar cone – before I ever thought of counting calories.
But there are things I do miss: making real home-made fudge – when you wore out your arm stirring the fudge “until thick”, the pure “can’t get to sleep” excitement of Christmas eves, sleeping on the mattress in the back of the Mercury station wagon on vacation trips; throwing the winning touchdown pass just like Johnny Unitas in a touch football game, and the innocence of not understanding why cartons of canned food were suddenly stored in the garage during the month of October in ‘62.
But if we are fortunate, we do grow up, move on, pursue careers, raise families and experience the wonders of this gift we are given: growing older with our eyes wide open. And while it is healthy to look back in appreciation, it is important and vital to continue to look forward with hope and anticipation. And some spring day (I’ll skip the winter) you may also see me riding my bike – just as I did when I was only a kid.
The Tuesday lecture at 11:00 on November 8th, will feature Jim Wilcox the Dalles’ esteemed Mayor and all-around-good-guy. He will be discussing the many issues facing the city of The Dalles – offering his perspective and listening to yours.
The Center’s music calendar is again following the tried-and-true monthly formula with the Strawberry Mountain Band playing tonight and John Martin and Friends playing next Tuesday on the 8th. These bands play for practically pennies providing entertaining music while helping support the Center. So come on by; drop on in and have a roof shaking good time. The doors open at 7:00 and the music keeps humming till 9:00. And as always, donations are kindly accepted.
Sounds like several folks enjoyed last week’s Brain Rattler. And you may have been one who came up with your own answers including SIS, SOS and my favorite – I. Next week I will offer more calisthenics for the brain that will test your mental flexibility and creativity.
Ralph Emory was the late night disc jockey on Nashville’s WSM radio station from 1957 to 1972 and went on to host “Nashville Now” on TNN. (And the winner of five quilt raffle tickets is Marilyn Sarsfield.) This week’s “Remember When” question (thanks to Joann Scott) is about the popular adventure radio series from 1933 – 1951 featuring the globetrotting adventures of Jack Armstrong, popular athlete at Hudson High School. What was the phrase most often found following – Jack Armstrong? Email your answer to the firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or drop your answer off with a rare copy of The Big Little Book‘s “Jack Armstrong and the Ivory Treasure”.
And before I sign off, if you have noticed an abnormal number of grammatical errors in this column (“piece” instead of “peace” is just one embarrassing example) don’t blame me – blame Zelta Wasson. She is my trusted proof reader who has been out action for several months and hasn’t been around to catch my mistakes. And I can’t wait till she returns!
Well it’s been another week, listening for the train coming around the mountain when she comes. Until we meet again, don’t always believe everything you think.
“If you have the choice between humble and cocky, go with cocky. There’s always time to be humble later, once you’ve been proven horrendously, irrevocably wrong.” Kinky Friedman