Hand Up --- Or Hand Out
This story is true given to me by Miss Ann.
She was working in her restaurant one afternoon during one of the few times when it was not crowded. A man came to the front door and acted very shy, almost as if he were afraid to come in. Annie looked up and said may I help you. He answered, “I sure hope so, do you have any work I could do for something to eat?” She said, “the food is no problem, come on in.” He continued with “I don’t think you understand, I ask if you had any work I could do for food.” She replied, “come on in, I am sure we can find you something.” Reaching under the counter, Annie pulled out one of the white trashcan bags and handed him one. She said “you can pick up the paper in the parking lot. People are always throwing something out.” Taking the bag he asked, “how far does your lot go?” She told him “all the way to the road in front and side and to the next building in the back.” Annie watched as he started to pick up the paper in front and after a few minutes, he disappeared behind the restaurant and was gone so long she wondered if he had just decided that was too much work for some food. However, after a while, he came in and the trash bag was almost full of paper and other trash. Annie said, “well it looks as if you have earned your food, so what would you like?”
He replied a couple of hot dogs to go would be good.” “What would you like to drink?” Annie asked him, He said, “water is fine.” She told him “we have sweet tea, or sodas, how about one of them?” He replied, “No water is fine, could I wash my hands somewhere?” She gave him the key to the men’s restroom and started his hot dogs and water. When he came out she handed him the bag with the hot dogs, and she had also slipped in a five-dollar bill inside the bag. He took the bag and water, as he reached the door he turned to her and said: “I don’t think you know something lady, you don’t know the difference between a Hand Up and a Hand Out.” Annie thought well this is a fine how-do-you-do. He continued “I am going to educate you to the difference; if someone comes in here and asks if they can do some work for food, go ahead and let them work for it. If you give them a Hand Out they will get lazy and not want to earn their keep.” He walked out of the door and disappeared. At first, she was upset by his attitude but after thinking it over she decided there was a lot of truth in what he said, and since that time she has checked this out many times and decided a Hand Up is better than a Hand Out. Thank you, Miss Ann, for letting me write this for you and this is just another reason you are my “Beautiful Annie Bell Leigh” and I love you for it.
Preston T. Duckett July 19, 2015.
Heavenly Father, in reflection, we missed the mark so many times in the year you gave us of 2019. Starting a trip of this nature carries us back even farther. Lord back over the Eighty-six years You have blessed me with, and yet the mark was missed so many times that I can not help but wonder, why you have left us here this long and for what purpose. Your word tells us that Your ways are not our ways, and Your thoughts are not our thoughts. Pondering Your words along the way there are so many things we do not understand and will not until we unite with You in Eternity.
Thank you, Lord, for all these years. However, we do not understand why some taken in the prime of life, and others grow to old age and wither away. There are many more questions we have no answers for, but You do Lord.
With the World in the seemingly mess it is in, can Your return or second coming be very far away? Let us know that You are in control and allow us vigilance and knowledge to trust in the Holy Trinity. The one in all and the all in one, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And for the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, his death. Burial and Resurrection, giving us the path to Heaven.
We pray this in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and our Lord. Amen and Amen.
REMEMBER GARRETT BIG “G” SUPERIOR SNUFF GLASSES
Life in the 1930s and ’40s was a lot different than today. Grandma and Grandpa bought Snuff in a glass from Garrett Snuff Company. These glasses used as drinking glasses when emptied of Snuff. Therefore, Grandma’s crystal collection was the entire of said snuff glasses.
Her silver was a collection of antiques and early marriage. I have never seen another set just like hers. Two of my uncles were just a little older than me, one by three years and the other one by five. With these two, you had to watch what was happening. Because they would wait until I was reaching for a piece of meat with my fork, and they would take their fork and try to stick the back of my hand. I learned to watch for them, and when the fork started toward my hand, I would jerk out of the way, causing them to miss my hand and hit the table. Thus the prongs on the fork sometimes got bent and had to be straightened by hand. The general rule for the game was you had to stick the fork in your opponent below the elbow.
Being the baby of that bunch made you grow up in a hurry. The younger aunts took up for me and would get even with their two brothers on occasion. Other items also came with necessary purchases, such as flour and chicken feed. The print cloth used to make these sacks, when emptied, was reused to make blouses and shirts. Before they started using the print, bags I had a sweater that grandma made for me from flour sack that had a big circle with the name Martha White in the loop and with three X’s underneath the ring, which was on the back of the shirt. I never did know what the X has meant, but the shirt would fit right in with the T-shirts of today.
Everything was used during those years, even the dishwater. They saved the dishwater in a five-gallon bucket along with the scraps left from the table. Grandma called it slop, used to feed the hogs. The dishwater cleaned the inside of the pig to make sure the meat was clean when butchered.
Speaking of clean, Grandma had a homemade mop, which consisted of a handle connected to a two-by-eight piece of lumber eighteen inches long. This block of wood had one-inch holes drilled through it every two inches apart, and on the second row, the holes offset as not to match the holes in the front row, and the third row also staggered in the same manner. Corn husks were twisted together and jammed into the one-inch openings to make sure the shucks did not come out during use; Small wedges of wood driven in with the shucks to form a good scouring mop. The use of these shucks could have been the reason that country boys often kicked lightly at the dirt and said, “Aw shucks,” especially in the presence of cute girls.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, Friday, June 24, 2016
PROFANITY NEVER IN GOOD STYLE
There are many things in my younger days in which I have pride and many situations in which I have deep shame. There was a time in my young life when I felt profanity was a way of making an impression. It made an impact all right but not the one I wanted.
The profane words that came from me uttered without malice; however, it caused damage in several instances. For these times, I have profound regret. There are many reasons for this; one reason was these words several times caused me almost to get a beating for the words I uttered. Fortunately, in most cases, I was able to talk myself out of fisticuffs'. I never was, or ever wanted to be a fighter. Whenever possible, I would apologize, profusely, backtrack, and even lie to the fact of having been guilty of making that statement. For a long time, I did not realize the damage I was doing not only to myself but those around me.
I read that sweet water, and bitter water cannot come from the same spring. The analogy increased when followed by The Word, about blessings and curses could not originate from the same tongue. The quote is not literal, but you can get the jest to which I refer. The realization took a long time to catch up to me. That most cursing, as we say in the South, and profanity as referred to in the dictionary. The most common cause of this is a lack of education or understanding. When reducing me to the obscenity extended to others, I was trying to cover a gigantic gap of an inferiority complex.
The evil one kept trying to convince me of the fact that it was not bad as long as I did not use the Lord's name in vain, which I decided never to do. Small sins always lead to more massive wrongs, and it the same with profanity. I do not remember who got to me about the use of cuss words; however, I wish they had gotten to me sooner. God is never pleased with the profane words we use to impress or try to be more dramatic about His creations. Improve your vocabulary to the extent you no longer depend on profanity for emphases.
Get in God's Word and pray to use the words God will provide without using the vernacular of profanity. One of the best reasons that I can think of for not using curse words is that young offspring are in your home whose brains are sponges that absorbed every word you utter and doubly incorporate the bad ones. If they do not hear you use them, then, it will be easier to train them not to use them as well. Christians should not use profanity.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
PrestonTNT.com. Saturday, August 20, 2016
Scripture references :
Exodus 20:7 - Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
James 3:10 - Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Matthew 15:11 - Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Romans 12:1 - I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
WHAT HAPPENED TO BC AND AD
Everyone seems to know about BC; Before Christ, I thought AD meant After death until a Latin class taught me it was Anno Donini, translated meaning “year of our Lord.”
The history-changing event of the birth and death of Jesus Christ, eventually overshadowed the year telling times of the beginning of the Roman Empire. BC/AD accepted after several years as the official year calculating of time.
This form of counting time worked reasonably well until the twenty-first century when political correctness and the cowardly fear of offending, some who were not of the Christian faith. The same numbers of the years stayed the same. However, offensive Before Christ and The Year of our Lord, AD. Were changed to CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era.)
I did this little bit of research because I remembered being aware of the calendar having AD and sometimes the translation of the Year of our Lord. I had not seen any of this for several years, and now I know why. Times they are a-changing. All changes are not adverse, but then again, all changes are not right.
Preston T. Duckett, Wednesday, December 25, 2019.
To uphold the unity in your home, you and your mate must feel and act as one. You will not always agree but at least work out a compromise that will be pleasing to both, or make one that is the least disturbing to the other. Should a disagreement arise, get it settled very quickly, even if one of you has to eat a little crow. (Crow tastes better when covered with a bit of love, with a dash of apology.) Use common sense judgment and realize if you do not already give her flowers often, do not, on an impulse suddenly overwhelm her with a dozen roses for she may get the idea you are trying to cover up something.
Now that I am widowed, I have learned to apologize before I say anything. Example “mam, please do not take this the wrong way; I have no ulterior motive. But you are a lovely lady.” Or “that is an adorable necklace,” or “you have beautiful eyes.” You get the jest of it, and they look at my white hair and think this sweet older man could not possibly be trying to hit on me. They are right, but most of the time, it gives them a little lift in spirit.
Back to the life partner situation, husbands try treating her like a queen. Open doors for her, walk between her and the flow of traffic. Minor curtseys such as this make a significant difference. These statements are not a tirade on etiquette but plain old common sense. Think about it: what have you got to lose? Therefore, you may have everything to gain.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Saturday, January 18, 2020.
Two Thirty Dollar Hotdogs
Several years ago, while working in her restaurant, The Oyster Bar, during mid-summer, either July or August, a large man stood in the doorway, dressed in winter clothes with a quilt folded and hanging over one shoulder. He was big and bulky but not fat by any means. Annie looked up and said, "May I help you, sir?" He replied, "I sure hope so, lady." almost as if he didn't want to say it, "would you give me something to eat." Annie replied, "I sure will, but all we have is hot dogs and chilly dogs, how many would you like?" Could you give me two chilly dogs and some water, please?" Annie handed him the bag of chilly dogs and a cup of ice water. He looked at her, and big tears ran down both cheeks, and he said, "Thank God for you, Lady." He turned, walked out the door, and seemed to disappear. No one around said they had seen anyone fitting that description, except those in the building.
Each customer, as they left, paid for their meal and wanted to pay for that man's feed as well and handed her five dollars extra. She told them, "the two hot dogs didn't cost five dollars." Each customer paid their bill and the man's meal as well, and each customer insisted she keeps the extra amount.
After the last customer had left, her mother asked if she had noticed that all the people in the café at that time were men, and Annie said she had not seen that. Then her mother asked her if she knew how many customers were there at the time the man got his hot dogs. She replied no, and her mother told her there were twelve. Annie had kept the extra money out of the cash register, and it was precisely sixty dollars, five from each of the twelve. She said that's thirty dollars per chilly dog, and her mother replied. You got a lot more out of this transaction than the sixty dollars. No one around could remember having seen anyone fitting the description of a big man in the middle of summer with winter clothes on and a quilt folded over one shoulder, except those in the café.
Was it just a hungry man helped in this situation, or was it a more profound project than this. The thought running through my mind was, could it have been an Angel? Brnrgiying those twelve men in the restaurant or the Owner? Just an opinion and I leave it up to you to make your own decision. All I know is that it did benefit me by being told of it and allowed to jot it down. God Bless you for reading this, and I trust you will carry a more profound meaning from it than just an act of charity.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett July 19, 2015
Traveling to church Sunday, a loud noise along with a mighty shaking of the car occurred. I was drifting to the side of the road, not knowing what had just happened. Looking at a mirror saw a large amount of tire tread lying in the street. Figured the tread had separated and forced a blowout.
I was only about a half-mile from the church, and with the temperature being what it was in mid-August in South Alabama, decided to take a chance on destroying the rim, so proceeded very slowly on to the destination. There were about ten minutes before the services started. Therefore I called my good friend Jeff who agreed to come and change the tire for me. Upon dismounting from my vehicle slowly walked around the car and discovered that all four tires were full of air. Quickly calling Jeff back told him it was a false alarm.
Because of my reputation of having a problem with balance, and having fallen on several occasions, for protection, someone always walks with me making sure that I do not fall. As Shawn approached, the automobile told me I needed to get a tire on the rear, and I assured him I would. Now please realize I have had these same eyes for a little over eighty-six years now and they have somewhat dimmed.
Some of the slapping noises had stopped. Therefore, it was logical for me to increase my speed somewhat. Gripping the wheel with both hands in case there should be another problem with the tires. I continued to drive to my home, which was approximately a twelve miles distance. My favorite Son-in-law pulled into the yard behind me. Walking over to the car announced to me that not only was the tire bald but it had been scalped, plus had a screw in it. Upon close observation, I saw he was correct, another call to Jeff to come and change the tire. I told him that all the tread cover was gone and that I had unsuccessfully put screws in it to hold the rubber in place.
This call and conversation did not faze Jeff in the least for we have been friends for many years, so he is well acquainted with all kinds of craziness that I have called him in on before. He arrived about two hours later, and by the time he got here, the tire was indeed flat.
The only answer I can give for the tire not going flat before I got home was that God had his hand on me and forgave me taking a chance of being stranded with only a half bottle of water avoid heatstroke,
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Monday, August 26, 2019
ROYAL BARRON VS SMARTY PANTS
Some of you people have been asking me how I am doing and that you had missed hearing from me. Knowing I will tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
I have been out of commission too long, but it has been hectic around here ever since Preston T. aka Mr. Smarty Pants had the wreck and totaled our car. I liked that sucker, and he smashed it against a bank and tore it all to pieces.
I had to take care of him because we were here by ourselves and he sent me to fetch his medication, bring him water, make his sandwiches, bring him a bath cloth with cold water to help bring down his fever.
It is not that I mind helping anybody, but ole Smarty Pants would send me after his power chair, and when I brought in to him he would pick me up and hold me in his lap pretending to pet me for doing all this work for him.
The first thing he did was put me up on the foot of the bed and grabbed the scissors and started whacking my hair off. I did not mind this so bad, but he never asks me if I wanted it cut or not.
It was hot enough that I let him get by with that. But, this was not enough for him; he squirted medicine in my mouth, two different kinds almost causing me to strangle.
On top of all this, he wanted me to sweep and mop the kitchen, cook him lunch all with the excuse he had been in a wreck and was not able to do all this himself. I don’t mind working hard, but this old man sits in his office chair with his head stuck in the computer, or his power chair thinking up more things for me to do.
I am giving serious consideration of complaining to the Fans of the sixties Radio and later Television presentation of The Preston T. Show. These people hired me to make sure I kept him from being harmed; however, if he doesn’t shape up, I may have to go so far as doing him hurt myself.
By Royal Barron Esquire, Pomeranian Extraordinaire.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Wednesday, October 2, 2019.
I had an enjoyable visit this week with an old friend and we talked and reminisced longer than we thought, and it was dark before arriving home. I went through the usual procedures of checking all my burglar traps and when none of them had been disturbed. And Barron had traced his, and other animal tracks with his head-mounted flashlight. It was time for the nighttime shower. However, when I turned the tap, there was no water. This had happened before when the pipes had frozen, but this was early evening, and we did not have any frozen lines. Naturally, the water department was not open, so I put my dirty self to bed.
When morning arrived, I was on the doorstep of the water department demanding an explanation as to why I had no water. The answer was fast and to the point. “We get no money from you. Therefore, you get no water from us.” It seems that in my haste to check on Facebook and to write another verse; I had forgotten to make a payment to the water department. As there is no one living with me, I had no one to blame for the mix-up, so the only thing to do was fall at the mercy of the water department. The lady employee that took my money must have noticed the shaking of my hands and feeling sorry for me ordered another water department worker to go to my house and turn the water back on. She thought the trembling hands were the sign of a pitiful older man, but the truth of the matter is that departing with my money has always given me the shakes.
“All is well that ends well.” Grandma had always told me that “you never miss the water until the well goes dry.” She was correct, and that was a long fifteen minutes before my water supply returned.
How often do we encounter similar conditions when we take for granted all the blessings from Jehovah? We go day by day, never thinking about our source until we miss the benefits of that particular item. My Dad was a machinist, and his big thing was preventative maintenance. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” any day of the week. Our best prevention is the study the Word of God, commune daily with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and send our “knee-mail messages to God.”
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Friday, January 26, 2018.
I have never liked change. I am usually content with the position or situation as it currently exists. I have always believed in the policy of “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.“
The change from High School to College came with trepidation and fear, at the ripe old age of sixteen. The year was nineteen-fifty, presented me to the officials in the hallowed halls of Troy State Teachers College with full intentions of becoming a teacher. However, a speech class assignment required me to make a job application at a local Radio Station, with a report to the class about what an audition for Radio consisted of and what they could expect.
The manager of the Station was a very astute person, and even with my jitters, he was calm and talked to me for several minutes until I felt somewhat at ease in his presence. Very casually, he said, “come on back to the studio with me.” He stopped at what I later learned was a teletype machine with a continuous supply of paper fed into it automatically for printing news and weather.
Tearing off a short news report and a bit of weather news, the manager handed it to me along with a couple of typed one-minute commercials. “Go in here and talk into the mike at the desk, read over it until you feel comfortable with it. I will be in the control room and give me a signal when you are ready,” he stated. I read over it two or three times and signaled him and started reading.
We went back to his office, and when we settled in, he said, I know this was a class assignment, however, If we needed an announcer, I would hire you. The announcer on duty and I both agreed that you have potential. I suggest you consider a future in Radio.”
Another change, WGEA in my home town had recently opened, and I was able to secure a weekend position, which means a change of major, from teaching to business management.
As was often said in early Radio, “that old clock on the wall says it is time for us to be getting out of here. So, do not touch that dial, and we will see you here again another day, same time same Station. More change reports coming up do not miss them.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Saturday, November 16, 2019.
MORE ADVENTURES OF ROYAL BARRON.
Hello, my name is Barron, Royal Barron. Some of you that have heard from me before know that my job is to protect Preston T. Protect him from himself as well as others out there that would like to cause him embarrassment and actual harm. As I explained to you before, the fan club members of his Radio Days hired me. Our group called the Armed Canine Brigade a group, so secret that the Secret Service does not even know it, only the President knows of our existence, my assignment is Permanente Cadre for the sole protection of this man, Preston T, or as I like to call him PT. There are several underlying reasons for this assignment and the security of it. However, I will not go into that right now.
I have to vent about how PT does not seem to understand, no matter how many times I tell him. He forgets or else does not listen to me one, so I think the last item is the culprit. I finally got him to install me a small door for coming and going because when he gets absorbed with his writing in that computer I can bark my tail off and he does not even hear me barking.
There is a neighborhood cat that is causing me to have conniption fits. One minute the Cat is there and the next minute he disappears. When I do my morning check and walk by PT’s car, I sniff a heavy cat smell, and it is so fresh that I think that cat is hiding somewhere in the automobile. PT tells me there is no cat there but I smell one, and I know a cat when I smell it. Also, this is a heavy-duty Cat odor. I will admit that I have ulterior motives for catching this Cat. He jumped on me out of the bushes one night and scared the daylights out of me. I will get even with him, and he knows he deserves it, but he keeps on taunting me. I have a deep feeling that he is from an enemy group that never liked Rock and Roll Music. Moreover, they are enemies with Preston T for that reason. They are trying to keep The Fame of the Preston T. Show ever to get a mention in Billboard and other music publications. This anti-Preston T. opposition organized highly and well funded by a Heavy Metal group.
The only bright side this week was last night, while on patrol I met a cute little fox that lives nearby and gave her the combination to my doggy door. Looking forward to a night of walking under the moon and romancing a beautiful grey fox. Things are looking up. Full moon, good food, candlelit supper, a white tablecloth, and a cricket orchestra with redbird singers joining in. See you in my dreams.
Royal Barron, Esquire, Pomeranian Extraordinaire Friday, July 6, 2018
WHO WAS THE LADY WITH BAG OF CHANGE
Have a Grandson that when he was younger enjoyed bicycle riding, and as he lived in the rural area around Echo, there was at that time plenty of room and very little traffic. Hundreds of times, he had biked down that side road that went by his house, and today was no exception except when the hit the primary way he pulled in front of a lady that was crossing at the same time. When her car hit him, he rolled up over the hood and the top of the automobile. The radio antenna on the car roof broke off, and the stub sticking up ripped him down the back of his body. When the EMT arrived, they rushed him and his Mother to the Hospital in Ozark. While in the Emergency Room, his Mother had to stay out in the waiting room. We did not have cell phones then, so she went to the payphone to call other family members and realized she did not have any change When she turned to go to the desk to ask to use one of the phones at the Hospital.
There was an elderly lady that appeared in the waiting room that had not been there just a minute or two before. The Lady handed her a bag that had nothing but quarters, dimes, and nickles in it and said: "take this, you will need it." His Mother made a call the other Grandparents and us and turned around to give the rest of the change back to the Lady, and she was gone.
She asks the receptionist who was that Lady that was just in here. The receptionist told her there was nobody else in the room, and there had been no one in there. Our Daughter described the Ladies' appearance; The receptionist said there had not been anyone fitting that description anywhere in the waiting room all morning.
Our Grandson was transported by Ambulance to a Dothan Hospital and we were on the way to Ozark to check on him when the Ambulance passed us going in the opposite direction.
Several operations later, thank God, our Grandson did recuperate and is alive and relatively healthy today. The damage was severe, and we were concerned that he would never come out of the Emergency Room, but as I said, thank God he did.
After the worst of the ordeal was over, my Daughter relayed the story of the Lady with the bag of change that no one else saw. Who was she? I have no way of knowing except, I believe this must have been a Guardian Angel.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett October 23, 2015.
DAD’S LAST FEW DAYS
Dad had suffered a paralyzing stroke on the left side. We were all there in and out, my brother Joe, my Sister Donna, Mama and the in-laws. Maybe an outlaw or two as well. Dad had been a heavy smoker all of his life. He would put his fingers up to his mouth as if taking a drag from a cigarette and then blow the imaginary smoke out.
He was not entirely himself at this point, and this is when it gets tough on a family when there is nothing that can be done but pray. Dad kept asking me to go to the freezer and bring him some Ice Cream. I told him that as soon as Joe or Donna got back, I would go to the store and get him some. He said, “It is right down the hall there in the freezer,” I knew by this time that he thought he was at home.
Dad would alternate between asking for Ice Cream and cigarettes. Very complicated to give explanations to the most loved man in your life when he wants something you are not capable of giving. When other family members came in, I took a break for something to eat.
It was my time to spend the night, so when I came back, the other family members drifted out one by one until it was just my brother Joe and me. Like most of the members of the Duckett’s, Joe is a jokester, and he was good at it as well. After a few minutes, Joe walked over to the door, and with the door standing half-open, he turned and said to Dad. “Daddy I left a pack of cigarettes in that drawer over there, and if Truman won’t let you have one, it is entirely his fault.”
He quickly closed the door before I could find anything to throw at him. This stroke was Dad’s second major one, and when the Doctor was making his rounds, I asked if I could talk with him outside. When we were in the hall, I asked the Doctor what the chances of him making a recovery were. He lowered his eyes to the floor and after a few seconds that seemed like forever. He raised his head, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “I am sorry, we have done everything we can do for him, and he has no chance of surviving this stroke.”
Smoking was allowed in Hospitals in those days as it was before the no-smoking rules in the Hospitals, and then I asked him “if there is no chance of survival why can he not have cigarettes?” He gave me the OK, and I lit one for Dad and sit by his bed while he puffed and smiled.
I have never regretted giving him one of his last cigarettes. He is gone now, and I cannot wish him a HAPPY FATHERS DAY in person. If your Father is still alive, do take time to let him know how much he is loved and wish him a HAPPY FATHERS DAY from you and me.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston Truman Duckett, June 18, 2016.
NOW LISTEN UP
I have been quiet long enough, you oohing and aahing about some of the stuff written by my self imposed honcho. A lot of you seem to forget that they hired me to keep this person out of trouble. And protect him from all advisories, real or imagined. Smarty Pants has followers of his Radio & TV days of the Preston T. Show. These people, for some reason, do not want any chance of anything happening to him. Some of them got together and hired me to be his bodyguard. Guarding someone with the disposition of a Smarty Pants is not an easy job.
I keep trying to explain to him that all these glad hander’s that want to shake his hand or hug him could very easily break his hand or squeeze the life out of him with a bear hug. And that some of these Bear Huggers are real Bears, but can Smarty Pants see this no. He thinks that all people are good and that some or just better at being right than others.
He is living in the past, much too much as of late. If you have any doubts, just read some of the stuff about which he writes. A poor boy in the 1930s and the 1940s. What does he know about being poor? I keep telling him it is a dog-eat-dog world out there if you will pardon the pun. Mr. Smarty Pants is an optimist, looking at the World thru rose-colored glasses. Throw him a negative thought, and he will show you fifty-seven ways that it is not a negative but is positive. Drives me nuts with the ideas he comes up with to focus light on a dark subject.
He thinks it is terrific that Santa Clause did not stop at our house because of all the kids in the world that need him more than we do. “Speak for yourself, big boy.” is what I say. My stockings did not have a single treat left in them. All that milk and cookies I left out for him didn’t last long, but where were all the goodies I was supposed to get?
Well, I will admit, he has not tricked me into going to the Vet or groomer. Will wonders never cease.
Author, Royal Barron, Esquire, Pomeranian Extraordinaire.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett.
Thursday, December 26, 2019.
MADDER THAN A WET SETTING HEN
I know it looks like I have a life an ordinary dog would be proud of having. Well, I take pride whenever I can, but not when Smarty Pants says, “be a good boy, and I will be back in a little while.” Well, that little while has grown until it is sometimes dark before he gets home and even then hardly has time to also go outside with me so I can be sure he gets some exercise.
I can not help but love him, and it is tough to protect Smarty when he is gone most of the time. I know he gets telephone calls and has to run to the Cemetery and take care of some business. But, what makes most people fifteen or twenty minutes to accomplish, takes old Smarty Pants all day. Then when he does come home, he wants me to act like I am not upset and wants me to let him pet me. Well, I have smelled some strange dog scents on his hands and clothes lately.
How do you think he would like it if I came home and had strange human scents in my hair where I had let everybody pet me. I have started packing me a knapsack with treats, and as much other food as I can muster.
I will not run away, but I can hide under the workshop building in the back of the house, and it is so low to the ground that he can not see under it. I can hang out there for a week or so without being noticed. I have attempted this ploy another time, but Smarty sounded so pitiful when he called for me that I slipped out, ran around the other side of the house, and when he got around to the porch, I was sitting there like I had been there all night.
Smarty Pants wonders why I will not look at him when he is talking to me and why I do not be a crazy dog and act happy to see him when he does take time to come home, where he should be staying like the last three years after he sold the Cemetery. I know he has it back now and is trying to let everybody know he is back on the job. He would write this on Facebook or leave a note on the door to that effect. He does not have to stay there all the time and talk to everyone that drives through.
I try every way I know how to tell him how to run his business and life. But does he listen to me, no, no, no? Smarty thinks he knows more than any of us, and we all try to help him every day. But, boy, does he make it hard for us to help.
Preston tries to get me in the car, under the pretense of going to the Cemetery with him. The last few times he talked me into getting in the car with him, we wound up at the groomer or the Vet’s office. You fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and shame on me.
Author: Royal Barron, Esquire, Pomeranian Extraordinaire.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Wednesday, December 11, 2019,
DEATH IS CERTAIN
A friend of a friend unexpectedly died a little while ago in an accident. Fortunately, they had chatted and expressed their Christian love for each other a short while before the crash. My friend is devastated and heartbroken.
I do not have any more information at this time, but it did occur to me just how fragile life is and how quickly snuffed out. The burden on my heart is for those that are not prepared to face death. Fortunately, this man was. What I am asking you is, are you ready or willing for where you will spend eternity? The decision needs to be made now, to often it is put off until too late. The solution is a simple, belief in Jesus and his crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection on the third day. Pray for forgiveness of your sins, and believe in your heart that Christ is who he said he was, and forgiveness of your sins is a reality.
Moods can change from heartedness to disaster in a matter of seconds. With society being as it is today, we never know what to expect and when to expect it. Pray for this mans family that God will send peace and comfort. Death is never pleasant, but it is even more terrifying when it is sudden and unexpected.
Heavenly Father, praise Your Holy Name, and we thank you for your blessings and ask you to be with this family. Please give them peace and comfort with knowledge and understanding this brother is with You and Jesus. Give them the strength to work through this tragedy and the Grace to continue going forward. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. Amen and Amen.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett
Monday, July 23, 2018
CHURCHES THEN AND NOW
Day off for farm boy in the late '30s or early '40s
This story is not a criticism of religion, denominations, or individuals; this is to show how things have changed everything in life. This writing is touching only one phase of it, or at least that is the plan. Sometimes when I sit down and start hitting the keys, it is not always going in the direction I intended. I spent my childhood in the country on a tenant farm in the foothills of North Georgia, with my Grandparents, a good deal of the time as you that have read some of my other writings know.
Back in those days, Church was not held every week but mostly for revivals during the time that farmers had time off between planting and harvesting and while the weather would allow for harvesting and planting. Are you confused yet? These occasions sometimes were all-day affairs and as we called it. "Graveyard cleaning and all-day singing with dinner on the ground," which was my favorite meeting day.
Grave cleaning is a lot of work usually accompanied by singing, a sermon, prayer, and then lunch on picnic tables. Fence wire was hung between trees and required renovation every few years; The wire stretched from tree to tree and trees did not grow the same rate, therefore after a few years, the table would be higher at one end than the other.
When it got to the point that all the food was sliding down to one end, then someone would grab a hammer, nails and some 2x4's, a hand saw and whatever tools needed to dothe job. These tools were available because people mostly came to Church on their work wagons pulled by mules, and most of them had the tools on that wagon.
As they did then and still do today at Church socials held in an air-conditioned gnat-less and mosquito-less-recreation halls, the ladies would busy themselves with preparing and placing the food on the tables. We mean little boys, after watering and feeding the mules, would start gathering our food as close to the sweets as we could. I think that maybe where I got the idea of eating desserts first because then you didn't eat so much, you won't have enough stomach room left when you get to the sweet treats. Eating desserts first determine my philosophy of life. "Get the best first and then struggle to pay for it... don't struggle to make enough to pay for it then get it because you have had to do without it for several years. Besides, think of all the loan officers that would be standing in the unemployment lines." back to the subject at hand.
Singing followed the meal allowing time for the dinner settle. After a short rest, then the graveyard cleaning brought out the tools rakes, shovels, and being farmers that hated grass most of the graveyards of that day did not have much grass or weeds left after the cemetery cleaning.
Times were hard, and a lot of the mountain people were pessimistic by nature. However, they did believe your word was your bond, and truth and honesty were the only way to go. Also, you could go to Hell for lying as well as stealing and, all those other things that have dominated our lives because it was pounded into us while we were young and tender. I thank God for this upbringing, and I hope enough of it stuck to me thru the years to make me a better person.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
January 10, 2015.
THE BRAIN A FANTASTIC COMPUTER.
The brain is a computer much more complicated than the latest and most potent on the market.
Batteries are not needed, only a proper diet of water and food. That keeps the brain-computer going as well as the rest of our body.
The brain controls our entire body, the moods we feel, as well as pain that tells us something is amiss. The food we eat has less effect on our brain than the thoughts we think and the pictures and words that we read and hear. Give your brain all the trash that is on Television, and the internet, including pornography. And this will cloud our mind with sediment and like the other computers that are what we produce when we write, talk, and think is trash in trash out.
Unlike the other computers, we have the right and obligation to keep our brain clean. The only way I know to do this, read on a higher level than pornographic books. Watch no shows filled with cursing and vulgar conversation, including comedians that have to get down in the gutter to be funny.
A solution that has been helpful to me is reading the Bible and commentaries of scholars educated in the rightly dividing of God’s Word.
I know someone is going to claim men wrote the Bible. Very accurate but Moses and other Profits wrote it, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God. Therefore, the brain gives us back what we put in and I praise The Lord my education was before the Liberal Take over was completed in our Educational System.
There is an old song that comes to mind. “Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Monday, September 9, 2019.
A KISS IS JUST A KISS
A kiss is just a kiss until it is a KISS; a capital KISS is slower and longer.
After experiencing a KISS, all other kisses is very much like pecking the cheek of a sister, mother or close kin. Compare a KISS to a top musical production; it is important to have the stage set properly. It must seem spontaneous; However, a significant part of a correct Kiss includes careful planning, starting slowly and slightly teasing the party you have chosen until they are almost asking you to do it now. Not the time for speed but the correct amount of building to total passion. The ideal posture is either sitting close or standing in a comfortable position and closely facing each other. There are as many ways to approach the subject as there are people who miss out for not reading the signs. Say you are a guy facing a beautiful woman, then tell her about how beautiful she looks tonight. While lightly moving the tip of your finger slowly down from her ear across the chin. If she closes her eyes, then it is time to let the romance and the kiss begin very tenderly. Starting softly almost doing a butterfly kiss and ease on into the proper depth with just a bit more pressure and just a slight amount of suction on the lips to keep them firmly in place as you slowly drop your arms to cradle her tenderly across her back. With the other arm and hand firmly around her waistline. Holding the kiss in this position with the use of both arms slightly increasing pressure. (I do not suggest applying the French kiss on the first attempt unless instigated by the female.) As in any successful invasion, one must be on the lookout for mishaps. Covering each one with as much grace as one can muster, and in this event, must be handled with the greatest amount of grace and charm with delicate ad libs with a segue from one step to another as you skillfully glide around the objections or problems. Keep in mind that a kiss in time will give you nine. Remember today’s woman has long passed the time for clubbing and dragged to your cave. Take a chance to perfect your approach before using it. A mother directing her young son on his first date said: “Do not let her put her head on your shoulder this will cause me to worry.” Upon return home, he informed his mother that nothing was done to cause her any concern. He said, “I put my head on her shoulder so her mother would be the one to worry.”
The above writing took a long time to finish for as the details started to be vivid in my mind I first had to get a glass of water and then as further thought began to appear in print on the page it was time for a cold shower. I trust this will be helpful for you, as I have never had the opportunity to try a dress rehearsal. Remember a kiss is just a kiss until it becomes a KISS.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett
Sunday, July 16, 2017
BORN IN A LOG CABIN IN 1933
From the memory of 86 years, of the old brain comes the story of my life. I was born during the great depression, around 10:00 AM, August 1, 1933, and maybe that is why it is sometimes hard for me to get up and greet the Sun. I do not remember the beginning, but a reliable source, my Mother, informed me of the event. The birth happened in Pickens County, Georgia, in the Talking Rock area.
A rather small cabin where one room acted as a living, bedroom, and kitchen. Hard packed dirt was the floor of this one room. The exterior was made entirely of logs except for a shingle roof. It did have running water; well, you had to run out to the spring to get it.
I was told by my parents most of what I know about the cabin. When I was old enough, I asked Dad to carry me back to see where I was born. He informed me it had burned, and that is why we were now living on Jones Mountain. I always wondered if it burned because I was born there or if it was just an accident. My parents informed me that when I was very young, Mother accidentally dropped me on my head from a buggy. Now, this was not a baby buggy but a full-sized mule-drawn vehicle. I don’t know if this explains my warped thinking or not, but Dad said it was a good thing I landed on my hard head rather than an arm or leg. A recent MRI did discover growth in the back of my brain. The Doctors reported that it appeared ancient and could explain why my balance was never excellent, and the reason for my inability in sports.
We had been on Jones Mountain for a few years, and some of the relatives would come for a visit the kids usually wanted to see the overshot water wheel located on the creek behind our house.
The water wheel powered the stones used to grind cornmeal. During the summer, we would close the channel that carried the water over the wheel and detoured it to one side, making a small waterfall under which we played. We also used this as a shower for bathing as well.
When we got tired of playing in the water, usually after our skin became swiveled and we all had blue lips. We would all run over to the Sawmill, which was close to the Waterwheel, and bask in the Sun until somebody started throwing sawdust at someone, and a free-for-all would break out.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, July 28, 2017.
BALANCE IN LIFE (Written 1984)
The time spent in the worry and care of our day to day living can rob us of our most valued possessions if we do not approach them with the separation they must have. When we allow our work to overshadow our home life, we have a problem. When we let our home life overrule our work and Spiritual life, we have a malfunction. Also, when our Spiritual life overshadows all the others to the extent they begin to fall apart around us, we have a problem. Most of you were with me and in agreement until the last statement, and I understand your concern, It is a delicate balance, and we must walk it. Balance is the key to our life and the key to our being. In everything, we must have a Balance.
God created the Universe and set into motion a balance system that must be carried over into our lives. While it would be enriching to do nothing but Praise God at all times and forsake every obligation and every commitment. Unbalance is not the way God set things in motion, he gave us balance, and we must use it. We can not put extra time pursuing advancement, and Dollar goals while neglecting our Family and the Work of the Lord. We are in danger if we idolize our Family above all else and ignore our job and our God. All of this to bring about a firm belief that we must have Balance in all things. We must keep our Balance within the safety zone and not allow the things of this world pull us too far in either direction.
The family unit has a great pull on our time, our money, and our energy and this is as it should be because this keeps us moving, but here again, this pull can not be overbalanced for a lot of reasons. Mainly it can not pull us to the point it is disruptive to the Spiritual Life and the Work-Life. The Work-life and Family Life seems, for most of us, to have the strongest pull. There are times when we do allow the Spiritual Life to become out of Balance and thereby stop the movement of the pendulum back and forth and we become narrow and not see the needs of our Family and our Community.
Most of us never reach this degree of commitment and thereby have no fear of becoming overbalanced in our Religious Fervor. Most of us have the problem first in the work area, then in the Family area and then in the Religious Area. All this is said here not to take away from the fact that God should be first in our lives. But that he set the thing in motion for us to work within a system of Balance and God made it this way for a reason. Balance is the ingredient needed to keep our lives in tune with God, with work and with Family. The nature of the Universe and the Creator of the same is Balance. We witness this in the passing of the planets as they follow the path caused by the pull of gravity from the Sun and other stars to keep them in Balance. If the earth should get out of Balance from the pull of gravity and reach a stronger pull of one of the others, then it would be drawn either to the Sun or the Star that had the most significant gravitational attraction on it. And without the balances that the Creator set up when he created the Universe, it would have been TOTAL DESTRUCTION long ago.
When the pull from the Work World or the Family World starts pulling too hard at you, ask the Creator for more Balance in your life. Prayer is the gravity that will keep your Balance in the right proportion. Strive for Balance, for we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Pray for proper Balance in your life for GOD, FAMILY, and WORK.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
September 13, 1984.
CHARLES WOODS GOVERNORS RACE 1966
I met Mr. Charles Woods during the time he was running for Governor of Alabama. It was after I left Radio WOOF and before I went to WTOT in Marianna, Florida. My advertising office was in with my friend Harold Hardwick at Hardwick and Son Printing. Harold was doing some printing for Mr. Woods for the Governor's race. His driver was unable to go with him on a couple of campaign trips. I was not busy at that time, so I volunteered to drive Mr. Woods to Montgomery and surrounding speaking engagements.
The next trip was to North Alabama with stops in Birmingham and several other towns in the surrounding area. Even though this was a first time meeting of Mr. Woods, it did not take long for me to be amazed at his knowledge and passion for what he was doing. Mr. Woods would be talking, and in the middle of a subject, he would go to sleep. Also, each time, after about five minutes had passed, he would pick up the conversation as if he had never dosed.
The napping happened several times, and after the first time, I did not let it bother me. Most of you know Charles Woods was in a plane crash while hauling fuel that exploded and burned over seventy percent of his body. He had gone through countless operations in several Hospitals, in spite of all the damage to his features; he rose above it and became a very successful executive.
In the campaign, I had a tiny part of; Mr. Woods came in fourth under the likes of Lurleen Wallace, Richmond Flowers of Dothan to name the top two. He made several unsuccessful bids for office in Alabama and later on even entered races in Nevada and did very well against some high-ranking names.
Back to the Alabama scene, he was twice defeated running against Terry Everett for the House of Representatives. The times of acting as driver, I developed for Mr. Woods great respect, a man that not only was bigger than life but also had overcome adversities that stagger the imagination.
Mr. Woods was well aware of his grotesque appearance because of the burns. However, it never seemed to bother him. Despite the intense suffering he underwent, he always said: "I consider myself an ordinary man greatly blessed by God." The injuries were an advantage to meeting many people that would not have met with him otherwise.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, Friday, July 22, 2016.
THE 1930’S AND 1940’S ON NORTH GEORGIA FARM.
I enjoyed a lot of farm life in those early years; however, chopping cotton was not one of the things I enjoyed the most. Feeling proud of myself chopping cotton in my row by myself and getting almost in a rhythm and thinking beautiful thoughts. My brilliant ideas were interpreted by a boisterous “what in the H--- are you doing boy, you just chopped up a good cotton plant.” To refresh your mind as to what brought this big response, Grandpa, who was a good three rows over from where I was chopping and two hundred feet ahead of me was giving me his usual soft loving reprimand, which I was beginning to get used to when I screwed up or made a mistake. “You just cut down a perfectly good cotton plant and left a scrawny one, why in the world did you do that?” I tried my best to explain that I was trying to keep the rows straight. The good plant was a good two inches out of line; therefore, I removed from the row. With a few subtle words that I do not care to repeat or write down, he made his point. Hoeing cotton or any other type of chopping never let me fall back into the rhythm that had started before this explosion occurred. Grandma was not in the field with my uncles and aunts today. Therefore I decided to lick my wounds and whisper a few profanities myself. I explained to you before that Grandpa was ambidextrous and was chopping two rows at a time. The thing I could not figure out was how in the world could he see me cut down the wrong plant with his back to me and hoeing first to the left and then to the right and two hundred feet away. The only thing I could figure was that when I messed up, there must have been some odor escaped that his sense of smell got a whiff of, because whenever I screwed up, Grandpa was on top of it and me. There was a lot of “messing up” on my part, and when I would try to explain either he did not understand what I meant, or else he knew too well. Grandpa would say, “Boy if you don’t stop that whimpering I’ll give you something to whimper about.” Knowing that he was a man of his word, I quickly learned to let my complaining go no further than my thoughts. However, the complaining did go on in that small container that held my brain. All the time these thoughts ran through my mind, I kept my back to him because I swear to God he had the ability to read my mind. I always knew that Grandpa loved me and during the time, I was on the farm with him; I found out what “Tuff Love” really meant.
Preston T. Duckett August 2, 2016.
COTTON AND CORN
Chop that cotton, shuck that corn.
Shuck at night, chop at morn.
Work on the farm sees no end.
We never break, often bend.
Birth a calf, in middle of the night,
vision furnished by lantern light.
To bedclothes on chair hang.
From the barn, loud bang.
Find a mule kicking a wall,
ropes tie her to the front of the stall.
Back to the house smelling bacon
and food for strength making.
Breakfast over keep hopping,
back to shucking, and chopping.
Work on the farm is never done,
ever thing happens on the run.
Preston T. Duckett 12/18/15 prestontnt.com
PLUS BETTER THAN MINUS
Our life is not always a bowl of cherries; sometimes, we have to contend with the pits (pun intended.) We need to be thankful for the pits as well because without them; there would not be a new crop of cherries. In other words, we need to be grateful for the up times as well as the downtimes. The Bible tells us the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Also, the Sunshine falls on both categories.
Matthew 5:45-KJV. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Act positive, talk positive, think positive, and be positive. With this many pluses going for you it leaves very little time to have pity parties. People that aspire to invite you to their continual party of pity soon find themselves partying alone. It is more profitable to be cheerful, and you reach more people when keeping the proper attitude. No one enjoys being around those who are continually complaining about how bad things are in their life. Also and how awful they feel, and always trying to show their scars.
Apprehension brings on worry and stress, which brings on a multitude of illnesses. The Bible stresses not to worry. Matthew 6:25-26: Therefore. I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Worry is a sin or sinful; it is not broken down as such, in scripture except to illustrate that worry and anxiety show a lack of faith in God. In that sense, it is a sin. Many things can be sinful, even simple things like eating, at which point “all things in moderation” rings in my brain and it sometimes reverberates in my conscience when a cake is available or pie with or without ice cream.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, Sept. 8, 2019.
MY FIRST AUTOMOBILE
My pride and joy as a 15 years old boy, was a 1938 two-door wreck of a Chevrolet revived in part with scrap parts from the junkyard. Went to the junkyard for so many elements I even made friends with the “JUNKYARD DOG” The old Chevy equipped with a standard, three on the floor, stick shift transmission. Most of them were during that day if you can remember back that far. No air conditioner, except the 240 models, (2 windows rolled down at 40 miles per hour.). The two front windows worked fine, but we had to brace the back windows up with sticks of stove wood, which was also standard for that day and time. The year was 1949, Dad, bought him a new car, (we considered it new to us.) It was a 1942 Chevrolet, and 1938 was a hand me down to me and as Dad was a good shade tree mechanic k we had just moved to Geneva, AL from Dalton, Ga. and I was 15 years old, but I drove anyway. Not many of the kids had cars of any kind, so I somewhat used mine as a free taxi service. Now the old car ran pretty well after you got it cranked, but this was tricky sometimes, no starter, so those that wanted to ride usually had to push. (Our Senior class motto in 1950 at Geneva High School was “Push, Pull or get out of the way.) I bring this up because that pretty well sums up my old car. The other kids would push it to get it running and then get out of the way. Which was a good thing because we had no brakes, but you could slow it by downshifting into low gear and then cut the switch, and we could usually stop it this way. The emergency brake was the nearest tree when we got it slow enough not to cave in the front bumper. Of course, they were made of better metal those days so you could hardly ever tell where the last dented place was. The pulling came in when we could not get it started one of the guys that lived on a farm close by would bring his dads tractor and pull “Old Betsy” home for Dad to repair. Yes, we had her named “Old Betsy.” This car did have something that was ahead of its time. The front seat would recline into the back seat that is if you did not reach with your left hand under the dash, and hold on whenever you started driving. The floorboard had rusted through allowing the front seat to flop over into the back seat when the car begins to move. I’ll bet there are some of you old-timers that can relate to the antics of “Old Betsy” and the Teens of the 1950s if so let me hear from you.
As I reported to you earlier, I drove all the time after I reached the age of 15. I misrepresented my age to apply for my licenses, and when I drove to the Court House, I would fail the written test because I was nervous about driving without a license knowing the State Trooper would be there. Then I would have to come back the next week and try again. Therefore, I rode my bike down there and passed the written test. Then I rode my bike back home to get “Old Betsy” for the road test. I told you; previously “Old Betsy” was not in the best of a condition so to keep the passengers busy I spruced her up a little. I had purchased a plastic bird that had springs for legs, fastened with a suction cup to the windshield.
Every time you hit a bump, it would bounce up and down. Well, while doing the road test, the Trooper kept flipping the bird to make it bob up and down. He said does the movement of this bird bother you. The smart-Alex fifteen years old kid that I was I said no sir, I have been driving a car all my life and have not had a wreck yet, He looked at me without cracking a smile and said, “No son you have been driving a wreck all your life and you haven’t had a car yet.” Have thought about this several times since, and it took me a while to believe what he told me, but it was true. Thru the years, I have met several State Troopers, some of them as friends and some of them cost me money.
As I reported to you earlier, I drove all the time after I reached the age of fifteen. While dating, I discovered that I could use my feet to shift from low to second then hook my toes over the floor stick shift and pull it back down into high gear. (Learned this little trick using the trial and error method.) . Doing it this way, I could use the right arm for much better use than the shifting of gears. (This is going to sound lame, naïve, and somewhat tame but it worked.) The date would say something similar to, “I’m cold” and I would answer, “do you want my coat “and she would say just the sleeve” and I would answer, “full or empty” and she would reply “full, please. “Also, it was always my great pleasure to do what I could to correct the situation. Because money was tight and I usually had to borrow from her if we got popcorn or drinks at the movie downtown. We usually went to a drive-in movie we could bring our own from home besides there was a lot more room for exercising the full arm sleeve routine. Sometimes we would go dancing at Lake Geneva or skating at the rink. I know some of you youngsters will think this is not very thrilling and compared to what is available today you would be correct. However, at this time we had no Television, No cell phones, and no computers. The games we played at home were board games, checkers, monopoly, old maid, go fishing and things of this nature, exciting don’t you think. We got by with things like this because the times were a lot less complicated back then, miss those times. Ending the saga of “Old Betsy” because the hook on my future brother-in-law’s wrecker had the front of “Old Betsy” up in the air, dragging her off to the Old Car Graveyard. I stood with tears running down my face, and “my full sleeve coat arm” around Gene’s Sister, Ellen, She fell for this “full or empty coat arm” routine that lasted through a Fifty-Eight-year marriage. Not a bad hayseed corny line, for a country boy from the North Georgia hills.
(Married June 12th, 1953, lost Ellen April 3rd 2011.)
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, June 8th, 2015.
CHEWED OUT WITHOUT CAUSE
Got chewed out for calling ole Smarty Pants, ole Smartypants, he told me to show some respect when writing about him. In the future, I was told, instead of calling him names that I should refer to him as Mister. If Mr. Smarty Pants thinks he can outsmart me he is going to have to get up a lot earlier and stay up a lot later to do that because for him getting in a battle of wits with me would be like carrying a knife to a gunfight. They're just not anyway Mr. Smarty Pants.
He thinks if he picks me up into the power chair with him and rides me around holding me tight enough to either use the scissors to cut my hair or give me some of that awful tasting stuff he calls allergy medicine. Either way, when he asks me to get up in his lap, it has to be for one of three things. Either a trip to the Vet or the groomer, give me a bath or squirt that bloomed medicine in my mouth. Either way, when he comes near me I will turn around and run under the house barking, so he will think I am chasing those old bobtail cats. My motto is staying out of his reach, and old Mr. Smarty Pants cannot accomplish any of the above objectives.
Another thing, Mr. Smarty Pants does not know about my friends, Foxy Fox is a beauty with a grey body and a cute little nose almost the color and shape of mine. She is a Fox and a good looking one at that. Other friends of mine keep up to date on what is going on around Webb and Dothan. They also keep me informed when there is an Animal paddy wagon in the area and that is when I stay in the house or else under it and hid behind some of the foundation blocks. The boogie boys do not come around here as much as they do, some of my friends report to me, as does the Dothan crew.
At one time when I was younger, I enjoyed playing with the little frogs in the yard. They would jump around and when the landed I would skip next to them and bark. Mr. Smarty Pants tried to show me one that was on the porch and I refused to look at the frog even though I had already seen her. Last night the frog (Fredrika) was on the porch again and ole Smarty Pants, excuse me Mr. Smarty Pants, set me down almost on the little creature, and I leaned over and whispered for her to jump off the porch and the next time I was out we would get under the house and play again.
Well, it looks like Mr. Ole Smarty Pants wants the computer so I will sign off for now and we will get together soon and play under the house.
Royal Barron, Esquire, Pomeranian Extraordinaire.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, August 21, 2018.
WWII YOUNG MEN WERE DRAFTED IN THE ARMY.
And boys and girls had to step in and take their place in the farm fields. Two of my Uncles were in the army so my brother and I stayed with Grandpa to help. As I have explained before a lot of my youth was spent in Pickens County Georgia around Talking Rock with my Grandparents John & Stella (Tatum) Cain. Grandpa figured if you were big enough to pick up a hoe you were old enough to learn how to use it. He showed me how to chop just to the right depth to get the weeds and grass from around the cotton plants. I had not at this time learned the difference between a healthy plant and one that was sickly. I think I explained to you that Grandpa was ambidextrous and was ahead of me chopping two rows at the time. I never could figure how he could hoe two rows at the time and still see what I was doing behind him, but I knew something was wrong when a roar emanated from that giant of a man chopping ahead of me yelling something about cutting down the good cotton stalk.
I was soon able to tell the difference when Grandpa got through explaining it not only to me but most folks in the county could have heard the transfer of information emanating from the 3rd row of that cotton field. When I got sick, Grandma would stick a thermometer in the proper places and could tell if I was sick or just did not want to go to School. However, when Grandpa said that was a sick plant I could not figure where to stick the thermometer. I told him that the little plant was in line with the other plants, but that big one I chopped out was about 5 inches out of line. Grandpa said that it didn't matter if they were in line or not but not to chop out the healthy ones. So this was one way of learning when you are on a farm. The rest of the day was even hotter, and I took my frustration out on the hoe and dug too deep, and a lot of the big healthy plants would fall over. I worried about this for a few days because I thought I was going to get yelled at again but it eventually was forgotten, and I did learn the proper way to chop cotton.
Many other lessons learned on the farm that followed the rest of my life and I think it helped make me be a better person. You younger folks missed a lot of common sense training by never living and working on a farm. The same goes for a stint in the military. That is another story, so I will just say that my experience under the tutelage of Grandpa Cain helped me cope with 21 months under different drill sergeants which also was a significant training period for discipline later on in married life, and working for the public.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett, September 24, 2015
DO WE DEMAND OR REQUEST OF GOD?
We of the somewhat older generation would never demand anything of our earthly Father. If I wanted to use the family car, I would not say to my Dad, give me your keys.
The conversation goes something like this; Dad, do you have any plans for the car tonight? If you do not mind, may I use it?
Why do we think it is all right to demand of our Heavenly Father? Some Evangelist tells us that we negate our request when we say if it be your will. Jesus taught us to ask, “If it is Thy Will.” It shows respect and strengthens the request rather than weakening it.
Always approach the Throne of God with reverence and humility. Prayer should be with faith and expectancy, with the understanding we do not know the future as God does and should never try to out-think Him. A song goes something like, “I do not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
Most people will do just about anything you ask of them, but if you tell them to do, something of an automatic resentment flares up in their mind. We are made in the image of God and should have the same type of mindset as Jesus. In our prayers, let us ask and not demand.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett March 12, 2016.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER
The above saying seems to be real with birds, animals, and humans as well. We are influenced by those we are around. People that have continuous “pity parties” with a “woe is me attitude” tend to drag us down, and we begin to feel the same. However, on the other hand, being in the presence of positive talking and happy people lifts our spirits and makes us feel positive as well.
The condition the world is in now will drive you crazy if you depend on the human factor to correct it, and with newscasts slanted in such a way as to cause us to think there is no hope, and we might as well crawl into a corner and suck our thumbs for all the good we can do. However, we can do everything God created us to do. My humble opinion is that we do not have the power to undermine or destroy what God spoke into existence.
God created every part of the Universe to follow His instructions and will rebuild itself if left alone. We see this in buildings deserted for many years as the forest, and other growth reclaims the property. We can, on occasions, witness trees growing inside the walls of buildings.
Enough of that, let’s get back to the decisive and negative issue. It behooves us to show thankfulness and enjoy the beauty of the world around us. Enjoy the fragrances of flowers, the beauty of streams and oceans, mountains, valleys, and all the wonders of nature. We often become involved with work or hobbies; we do not take the time to enjoy the blessings of our family or other things of beauty around us.
Life is short upon this Earth, even at its longest. Eighty-six plus years have proved this fact over to me many times. It seems as if only yesterday, the world was my oyster and full of pearls. The fifty-eight years spent with a wife was a mere second in memory. Was it today or the day before that God blessed us with children? Where did the time go that grandchildren grew to adulthood and thrilled us with great-grandchildren, and now a great-great-grandchild?
In any event, life is short, and we need to take advantage of every minute. Visit those members of the family that we do not understand or like as well as others. You may find them to be delightful to be around. Therefore, in any event, be around with constant contact with the people you love. Memories of those times are much higher than the few miffs, insults, or hurts you may have endured.
Published and Copyrighted by Preston T. Duckett,
Saturday, January 18, 2020.