Archive for March 2014

Johnny Football – The Prequel

Who was the first professional football player you remember being a fan of?

 

Two players.come to mind right off the bat. Y.A. Tittle was an awesome quarterback and passer, even when he began to show his age and got bald-headed. I hadn’t thought about that in years!

The other one was Paul Hornung, quarterback at Notre Dame, who was awesome in college as well as when he became a professional.   Blonde, long curly hair made him the ‘Johnny Manziel’ of that era.

Getting in the “Zone”

What does your Sunday morning preparing for church schedule look like?

 

Every Saturday evening:
1. I try to summarize, pray, and be as sure as I can that the lesson I’ve been preparing is what the Holy Spirit wants me to teach.
2. I try to finalize my CD and burn it for Sunday morning’s radio program.
3. Try to be in bed between 10:00 and 11:00.

SUNDAY MORNING:
1. Wake up around 5:30 am 
2. Hot bath and shave
3. Take medicine and brush my teeth
4. Check blood sugar and eat a little
5. Get dressed and load up my car (Bible, CD, coffee)
6. Try to get to KMVL Radio by 7:45 and get everything cued up to start “Reaching Out” at 8:30
7. Usually, by 9:05 David Ely calls my cell phone with feedback and encouragement about the program
8. Usually, get to Midway church by 9:30 to fill  the communion cups and bread trays for the Lord’s Supper 
9. Teach my auditorium class at 10:00
10. Morning worship at 11:00

AND that’s my routine ever since my daughter got me in the radio about 25 years ago…oooh…makes me tired!

Halloween Fright Night

One very early, very scary moment I had forgotten about happened on Halloween in 1948. We were living on 4th Street in Freeport, Texas.

My dad certainly was anti-Halloween (as he was so many things), but he would not let us go trick or treating because it was “…too much like begging. If you want candy, then work for the money, so you can buy your candy! I don’t want my kids to beg!”

This particular Halloween he allowed us to dress up and go trick or treating–but the only house we could go to was our own house. We lived next door to the church, and he had mother take us there and use that as the ‘staging area’ for our big experience. We (me [age 7] and Nancy [age 6]) were so excited as we headed next door to trick or treat the parsonage. As we traipsed up the sidewalk to knock on the door, the front porch light was off, which was a little scary, and we were talking about how we were going to scare Daddy.

My costume consisted of a Lone Ranger mask and a holster for my cap gun, so I’d look like ‘the real thing’! We didn’t know our Daddy had gotten a big army blanket that Uncle Bubba brought us when he came home from WWII. He put the blanket over his head and hid behind the shrubs by the front porch. After we knocked on the door and no one answered, we turned around to go back down the walk, and this giant with the blanket over his head stood up and hollered and scared the living daylights out of both of us. I took off running, then heard him laughing–but I think he achieved his purpose.

I never did want to celebrate Halloween again–until I married Betty Jo Farris–and she (as you and your brothers know) celebrated EVERYTHING! :-))

I Came, I Sawed, I Conquered…

What was the first piece of furniture that you built?

 

The first piece of furniture I built all on my own was the colonial study desk that I now have here in my (your) room.  [This will always be “Karen’s room” even though I’ve been in it for quite a while:-)) ] I saw a picture of that desk way back in 1967, and I built it out there in the old double garage at our home in Midway.   I built it for your mama, because in those days she loved  “Early American” furniture.

Going all the way back to my childhood, I remember mowing, then trimming the long grass out of the cyclone fence using just hand scissors just to hear my mother brag on me (no one ever conceived of such a thing as a weed eater back then). So much of what I’ve built has been to show my loved ones how much I love them!

My Fair Share of Scares

What was the scariest moment you recall?

 

Hard question to answer, because a number of things come mind:

#1. When your mom and I watched that medical helicopter take off from the Huntsville airport with our daughter on board–not knowing whether she would live or lose her leg–was probably the most frightening and helpless feeling I’ve ever had.

#2. Very similar was the feeling I had just a few months after your Mom and I had married, and she developed a paralysis on one side of her body that Doctor Heath was afraid might be polio. As I stood there watching that Day Funeral Home ambulance drive off with Betty on board, I had that same scared, helpless feeling I described above.

#3. Ben gave me a couple of those scary times with his car wrecks.

#4.  Once, when flying with your Uncle Eldred in his Piper Tri-Pacer, when we had the Lubbock Airport in sight, all of a sudden the cockpit filled with smoke. The radio caught on fire (electrical fire), and we couldn’t communicate with the airport for landing instructions. Eldred started waggling the wings to let them know something was wrong. They were flashing a red light to say WAIT…we had to circle a while and wait for a green light…talk about scared–horrified was the word!  But that still didn’t came to the same level as if it were your wife…or your kids!

The Nose Knows…

What website do you go to most and why?

 

1. mypopquizblog.com
    Reason: curiosity (nosy) and pride

2. postcardslive.com
    Reason: proud of my daughter and a little bit on the nosy side!

3. facebook.com 
    Reason:  I’m too dang nosy! (hate to admit it—afraid it’s true!)

The Speller’s the Feller

What was your first memory from elementary school?

 

That’s easy…and once again, it comes back to the teacher.  

I was blessed that the lady who had taught RJ and (I think) Bubba when the family lived in Beasley had moved to Freeport and was also my first grade teacher. Her name was Ms. Elizabeth Bailey.

Coming from a family of three older brothers who were constantly competing with one another, I developed a very competitive nature! THUS, my fondest memories from elementary school were the ‘spelling bees,’ because I was so competitive and a darn good speller!

 I hate these iPhones which do your spellllling for you!   :-)!

Balancing Boogers

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

 
I think I would have to say math & geometry.

My Daddy loved math and could add up columns of numbers ‘in his head’ without even using a pencil. He would challenge me to try to do the same. When I got to algebra, he and I would study my lessons together, because he hadn’t studied algebra before, but he was already a master at the logic of numbers!

I loved Algebra 1, but hated Algebra 2 because it was harder. But my teacher was anything but boring. She was a little lady named Ms. Beville, and she made Algebra & Geometry literally ‘come to life’! Maybe I can briefly explain how she did it. She used humor, which was really appealing to a 10th grader much more interested in football and golf than academics! She used to tells us her nickname was ‘Booger Beville’ and that Algebra was nothing more than taking these little ‘boogers’ on one side of an equation and making them equal with the ‘boogers’ on the other side. SHE GOT MY ATTENTION! Then when we got to geometry, she literally laid the groundwork for my love of building and carpentry…angles, squares, circles..the whole bit!

If you only knew how many nights I would work til 10 or 11 o’clock building our house 36 years ago. If you pay close attention to the panels in our den, you might hear, “Now, you wanna be sure and get all these little boogers to line up and be balanced or equal.” You might even check out the wooden venthood in your own kitchen! :-)). Wes’ daddy and I wrestled with that way up in the night! Look at it and say, “Thank you, Ms. Beville!”

Ain’t She Sweet

What was the first instrument you learned to play and who taught you?

 

I started playing two instruments at about the same time (both of them were inspired by my love and admiration for my brother, R.J.), the trombone and the ukulele!

Uncle R.J. loaned me the trombone he had played in high school, and I think I’ve already told you about joining the Junior High band in the 7th grade at Orange, Texas.   R.J. could make that trombone sing! His inspiration was the band phenom from the 1940s, Tommy Dorsey.

R.J. had purchased a little ukulele. He showed me as I listened to him what a simple instrument it was to play!    The first song he taught me was “Ain’t She Sweet”!   I thought I was a real musical stud when I strummed (and sang) that tune!    It was just a short step from that ukulele to the guitar!

The Empty Nest

Today is Jon’s birthday. What is your favorite memory of Jon as a kid?

 
There are so many memories I have of all you kids that it’s hard to say ‘this is my favorite’. With Jon, it happened when he was about to go to Abilene to college, but he really didn’t want to leave home.     Every time one of you kids went off to school, your mom would grieve for several days, almost as if you were ‘gone’. Busy as I was working, we always had the next young’un still at home, and I just didn’t experience that maternal separation each time like she did. We always still had kids in the nest.

I used to stop at our house every day (Route 2 Box 129) to eat a little lunch.  (By this time, mom had finished and excelled in her education. She had bachelors and masters degrees from Sam Houston   and was in demand as an English teacher in both Normangee and Madisonville.) This day I walked in to eat lunch, and there was a note on the end of the bar which said, “Bye, y’all. I’ll miss ya….and if I get homesick, I’m comin’ home!” (I still have the note in my little brown shaving kit in my closet)

Anyway, I knew how badly Jon didn’t want to go to Abilene…and college. He had been a genius as a builder, even as a little boy!   When I read that note, I looked outside. His pickup was gone, his trailer was gone, and his horse was gone!   I cried all during my lunch and, when it was time for me to head back out on the mail route, I thought I’d better go into my lavatory to wash the tears from my face.

When I went to the lavatory, I was in for another surprise! (When Jon  graduated, he received a bottle of Kuros, very expensive and good-smelling cologne. I would sneak into his bathroom and borrow a little Kuros.  The aroma was so distinct, that it had become a game with us–Jon would holler, “Get outta my cologne!”) When I got to my lavatory to wash my face, to my surprise there sat that little bottle of cologne with this note underneath. “Dad, this isn’t much, but maybe it’ll let you know how much I love you!”  Well, I really started bawling then.  I couldn’t stop crying for a full 6 hours! I still have that note (and the cologne) on my lavatory!:))

My baby boy was gone! Also his horse, his truck and trailer. I just wasn’t ready for that ’empty’ feeling…and the ‘nest’ was empty!

BUT…leave it to Jon. He called me in October with these words, “Dad, you’ve gotta help me with Momma. I can’t stand it out here…I’ve gotta come home!”    I said to him, “Now Jon, you know Mom’s not gonna stand for you dropping out of school.” He replied with a typical ‘Jon’ism, “Well Dad, I can flunk out a whole lot cheaper at Sam Houston than doing another semester here at ACU.”   His heart just wasn’t in it, but Betty and I have just thrilled to watch him blossom and grow since!