Saturday, June 30, 2012

Guess who's celebrating a birthday today?

Yes, it's my 64th.

I've come a long way since being born naked, squabbling and hungry.

Came into the world at a hospital at Eglin Field Air Force Base in Florida.

(Still today squabbling and hungry.)

Has been a good day (so far.)

Cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on the new grill I recently bought my Mom.

Swapped lies and dessert with guests, who cheerfully warbled "Happy Birthday" to the old guy.

Went for a swim. What better way to cool off on a 100+ degree day in Elizabethton, Tenn.?

To help mark my 64th birthday, here's a fitting song from the Beatles, titled (what else?) "When I'm 64."

Turn your sound up and enjoy and dream of turning 64; if you're lucky, you, too, will hit this milestone (or it'll hit you).

Catchy opening words to this song from the 60s:

"When I get older, losing my hair,
Many years from now,

Will you still be sending me a valentine?
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?

If I'd been out to quarter to three,
Would you lock the door?

Will you still need me,
Will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty four?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Won't ever forget my Dad

Tomorrow will be my first Father’s Day ever without my Dad.

We lost him in late January earlier this year, just a few days shy of his 91st birthday. I blogged about him a few days after we laid him to rest.

I miss you, Dad.

Last night I tried to remember some of his favorite sayings. Here are a few:

1. “Not a bit a’ danger.”

2. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!”

3. “You think rasslin’ on TV is fake. Lemme see you climb into the ring with one of those guys!”

4. “None of these preachers today want to talk about the stuff that really matters. Things like divorce, adultery, living in sin…”

5. “The young people call it ‘having a relationship with someone.’ They can call it want anything they want to, but it’s just plain ole shacking up.”

6. “I think the stupidest expression I’ve ever heard is: ‘It is that.’ What the heck does that mean?”

7. “Man who sleeps with a dog lies down with fleas.”

8. “Man who flies upside down has crack up.”

9. “You don’t know what work is. Why, when I was a boy I hoed corn on a hill in the hot sun for ten cents an hour.”

10. “I don’t want to hear about anybody’s stupid medicine. That’s all people wanna talk about.”

11. “People’s dying that’s not ever died before.”

12. “Whenever you want to spend your hard-earned money, ask yourself: Do I want this? Or do I need this? Don’t buy it unless you actually need it.”

13. “People are digging their grave with a fork and spoon.”

14. “You can’t really get away with anything in this life. My grandparents and parents used to tell me: ‘Be sure your sins will find you out.’”

15. “Those stupid people on their cell phones in Wal-Mart. . . You get behind one of those fat women waiting in line at the cash register and she’s yakking away, staying stupid stuff like: ‘Where you at?’”

16. “Anybody can have a birthday? What’s the big deal about a birthday?”

17. “I’m hungry. When do we eat? What’s the holdup?”

18. “Why do all these stupid people think they have to have a present for Christmas? Why, when I was a boy, we’d be lucky to get an orange or apple and piece of stick candy. And some kids didn’t even get that.”

19. "People ask me if a dog or a snake or a cat will bite. I always point to the animal's teeth and say, "Whaddya think those are for?!'"

Dad, you were truly a cantankerous, one-of-a-kind character. Will never forget after a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I finally was awarded my Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. You couldn't have been prouder. And when I received my degree, I made a copy of it for you. You framed it and hung it on your den wall, boasting to everyone that you had earned your Ph.D. from Iowa. And who was to know any different? After all, we had the same name!

We love you and miss you. It’s just not the same at the old home place in Tennessee any more. But Mom and the rest of us are trying to keep our spirits up, and we are putting one foot in front of the other (taking one day at a time).

Because what else can we do?

A happy posthumous Father’s Day to you, Dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remembering Gene Pitney

Lots of you have never heard of Gene Pitney, but he's in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.

Before there was the British invasion, there was G.P.

He was born in 1941 and died in 2006. He was once called the world's greatest male vocalist.

Lately some of his songs seem to be coming back to me. I remember listening to him while I was a lowly airman in the USAF (late 60s.) Maybe I'm trying to revisit my youth?

The guy could definitely warble.

Pitney songs that will live forever include:

1. 24 hrs. from Tulsa

2. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

3. It Hurts To Be In Love

4. Town Without Pity

5. Only Love Can Break A Heart

Turn your sound up and click on the hotlinks for each song. Relive the Pitney magic.

The 60+ crowd misses you, Gene.

Monday, June 11, 2012

How to make sense of this?

Just heard about this tragedy in the mountains of N.C. near Boone. How could this have happened? Everyone in that church is now being tested. How strong is their Christian faith?

Here's the story:

Young girl killed by tombstone at church

Published: June 11, 2012 at 1:12 PM

DEEP GAP, N.C., June 11 (UPI) -- A 4-year-old North Carolina girl died after a tombstone at a church cemetery fell on top of her, officials said.

The girl, Peyton Townsend, was killed Friday night, just before she was to attend a vacation Bible school study at Mount Paran Church in Deep Gap, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, reported.

Pastor Rick Cornejo said several children were running around in the church backyard Friday before Bible study.

The girl was standing on a headstone when a massive cross fell on top of her, crushing her, Cornejo said.

Church members said they are in shock.

"There's no more smiling or thinking of good things after this," said church member Seth Miller. "You're just thinking, 'oh my God, someone died here.'"

A dog named "Faith"

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know I love dogs. Nothing more inspiring than an uplifting dog story.

That said, this post is devoted to a dog named Faith.

I learned about Faith from Patrick, my son-in-law in St. Louis, Missouri.

Here's what Patrick sent me about this remarkable dog:

This dog was born on Christmas Eve in the year 2002. He was born with 2 legs

He of course could not walk when he was born. Even his mother did not want him.

His first owner also did not think that he could survive and he was thinking of 'putting him to sleep'.

But then, his present owner, Jude Stringfellow, met him and wanted to take care of him.

She became determined to teach and train this little dog to walk by himself.

She named him 'Faith'.

In the beginning, she put Faith on a surfboard to let him feel the movement.

Later she used peanut butter on a spoon as a lure and reward for him for standing up and jumping around.

Even the other dog at home encouraged him to walk..

Amazingly, only after 6 months, like a miracle, Faith learned to balance on his hind legs and to jump to move forward.

After further training in the snow, he could now walk like a human being.

Faith loves to walk around now.

No matter where he goes, he attracts people to him.

He is fast becoming famous on the international scene and has appeared on various newspapers and TV shows.

There is now a book entitled 'With a Little Faith' being published about him.

He was even considered to appear in one of Harry Potter movies.

His present owner Jude Stringfellew has given up her teaching post and plans to take him around the world to preach that even without a perfect body, one can have a perfect soul'.

In life there are always undesirable things, so in order to feel better you just need to look at life from another direction.

I hope this message will bring fresh new ways of thinking to everyone and that everyone will appreciate and be thankful for each beautiful day.

Faith is the continual demonstration of the strength and wonder of life.

Amen, Patrick, and thanks for sharing!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tiger back on the prowl

I blogged on May 7, 2012, that Tiger Woods would inevitably be back--as in back bigtime.

I based that blog post in part on an amazing shot that he hit on the ninth hole (second round) of the Wells Fargo Championship.

I was there--just a few feet away, while Tiger, using a wedge, launched his ball off the pine needles, then high above the trees and onto the green--about 175 yards away.

Saw that stunning shot.

No, Tiger did not make the cut in that tournament, but that one swing offered a harbinger of things to come.

A few days ago, he hit another AMAZING SHOT in the final round of The Memorial in Dublin, Ohio. Jack Nicklaus called it the best shot, under the extremely trying circumstances, that he had ever seen.

"It was really, really unbelievable, particularly because of the position he was in," Nicklaus told Jim Nantz of CBS moments later. "He hits it short the tournament is over. He hits it long the tournament is over. He put it in the hole. Unbelievable."

Some people called it a flop shot. Others, a chip shot.

Whatever. Tiger won The Memorial and now is ranked the fourth best player in the world.

In case you missed it on TV, here's that historic "flop shot" at the Memorial:

Salt air, waves, sand and fun

Ran across this slideshow of a history of Myrtle Beach, S.C. Happens to be one of my favorite places in the entire world.

This is the Myrtle Beach that our parents and grandparents may have visited.

Turn your sound up and take it all in: