…”DAMN WRONG NUMBER!”…

Yesterday was one of those days that just took me back. After gettin’ up a little later than usual, about 5:54 a.m., I headed to the Kitchen to get the “Joe Pot” to bubblin’ & gerglin’ in order to get that “Magical Elixir” ready to be consumed, by ME! As I got caught up on the issues of the day, both on-line & my favorite (Conservative) TV News Network, I polished off two (2) Mug’s-O-Joe. Then it was off to The Gym to try & keep this ole boyish figure as best I can. Comments NOT NEEDED! That hour was painful, buy I struggled thru it. Then on to various errands around town before headin’ home. As I walked in the door I immediately stumbled to the Joe-Pot to strain the remainin’ elixir into my mug, ran it thru the Micro-wave to the proper temp for my delicate palate. Ahh-h-h-h!! Checkin items off of my To-Do List.
I then moved on others around the house. As I started the second load of cloths in the washin’ machine, whites, I was addin’ some “Chlorine Bleach” in the mixin’ chamber & that distinctive smell caught my mind off guard. It took my wanderin’ mind back about 47 years ago (1971). The month of May & Early June before I left for Basic Trainin’, in The USAF. That sudden scent took me back to my last carefree days at my “Ole Summertime Hangout”.
 
I was workin’ my last few weeks doin’ what I enjoyed most. Workin’ as a Life Guard at Cascade Plunge, in Birmingham, AL, It was once a venue that acted as a magnet. It drew people from all around the City there. By foot, by bicycle, by motorcycle, by car, & by Bus. Yes, it actually had a “Bus Stop” right in front of it! It’s roots go as far back as the mid to late 1920’s. Durin’ my “Hay Days”, from the mid/late 50’s thru 1971, it was Owned & Operated by “The Dickson Family”. And they did a fabulous job thru the years.
 
If you were lucky enough to spend any of your Lazy Summer Days there then you know what I’m talkin’ about. If you never did then you’ll never know what was so memorable to so many. The words “The TOWER” sent chills thru the minds of many. It was actually just a five (5) Meter high platform. Though there are those that will swear it was twenty five (25) to fifty (50) feet high. Mostly when they were lookin’ down for the first time! Yet many of us conquered those fears at very young ages. I was of the latter at age three (3) with my lovin’ Mother coaxing me on, down in the water patiently waitin’ on me. There were many that NEVER conquered it. Many felt the shame of fear, others didn’t really give a damn! They just weren’t doin’ it!
 
Suddenly the phone rang, snapped me back to reality. I slammed the lid on the washin’ machine as I scurried to grab the phone – DAMN WRONG NUMBER! Wouldn’t you know it. Oh well, it was time to fix me some lunch anyway. But it wouldn’t beat the Hot Dogs & Fries that came from “The Snack Bar” at Cascade!…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

 

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…”most of you are already thinkin’ “…

22218_989848007712282_8481197791787430355_nSittin’ out on The Deck this mornin’, with a fresh (#2) Mug-O-Joe, I feel myself driftin’ off into that “Wanderin’ Mind” mode. Some how I got hung-up on two small words, “What If”! Have you ever thought that?…

What If….all the birds sang the same song; the trees were all the same kind/color; siblin’s didn’t argue/fight (right!); the world really was flat (where would the water go); what separates Up from Down (other than that fine line in the middle); wild animals weren’t wild; people didn’t kill people (it’s not guns); Politicians actually did what they said they would do (Hum-m-m there’s no money in that); Men & Women thought alike (Naw-w-w left brain/right brain); you could change a decision you made early in your life (I wouldn’t be where I am now); we couldn’t/wouldn’t think for ourselves (politicians are workin’ on that); people were more understandin’ (then what would we argue about?); Dr’s were actually on time for the appointment they set for you (right!); does the light stay on in the Frig when the door is closed (don’t climb in one to prove a point); why does our Government borrow money to give/lend it to other countries (that NEVER pay it back); why do Politicians Steal from Social Security (cause they know No-One will hold them accountable); do you trust a Dr, that smokes, with your medical decisions (hum-m-m); you had to buy manners & respect (how much would they cost you); people didn’t lie about their weight & age (ahh-ha-ha-ha); honesty really earned others respect (what would skeptic’s complain about); Democrats & Republicans actually agreed with/trusted/believed one another (right!); we raised our children like our parents raised us (would the world be a better place); we really trusted people more (it has to be earned). I guess I could go on & on but my Mug-O-Joe is no more. But I’ll bet most of you are already thinkin’ “What If”…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

 

…”my “Pea Brain”…

Ahh-hhhh…It was another early start to a Sunday mornin’. After yesterdays Birthday Celebration here at The “Hold’em Hook” Hide Away for our Nine (9) year old Granddaughter, “my how times fly’s”. It was time to get an early start to put away all the water toys for another time. The Grands & their Parents are now & headed back to “The Ham” for yet another celebration for her today. So-o-o I fixed me another Mug-O-Joe & headed down to play with the Bream with a Fresh Willow Fly Hatch. It NEVER gets old for me doin’ that. Just a jerk on one end waitin’ for a jerk on the other end. It never takes too long to get that reaction. Ohh & the child hood memories just flow through my “Pea Brain”. And what memories they are! Hope ya’ll have as good of a start to your day as I have had to mine. “Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”I am now PAPA”…

Nine (9) years & Two (2) days ago, today, was my last day at work. Yes, I retired May 29, 2009, @ 5:00 p.m. Me & My “Little Brown Cardboard Box”, with my few possessions from my desk in it, exited the Buildin’ & I haven’t looked back. I would be lyin’ to myself if I said “I don’t miss anything about the Job”. I mean, after 33 years with the Same Company it was tough to leave. There were many Friends made there thru the years, & they still are Friends to this day. The same about many Customers that became Friends, Good Friends, through those years. I can say that The Company I worked for was Family Owned & well run. It was a company/place that if you had the desire, the determination, & will power to work long & hard the opportunities/rewards were there to progress up to bigger & better opportunities!

I was lucky enough to be hired there at a time in my life where I REALLY needed a “Pay Check” (in the worst of ways)! I hired in as a Mechanic Trainee. I was fortunate enough to work up to various different positions. Includin’ a Mechanic on Over The Road Truck Engines (in the frame). Then to a Truck Driver, drivin’ a Truck & Lowboy Trailer for Six (6) years. Durin’ that time I learned to work on Lift Trucks when not out on the road deliverin’ & demonstratin’ them. I learned my products from “the inside out”. Unlike most of my competitors & even other Sales Reps in The Company. Next I was lucky enough to move into the Sales field as a Parts & Service Sales Representative (Rep) for Two (2) years. That was the beginnin’ of my “Sales Career” with The Company. I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to take over a Sales Territory when an Ole Friend decided it was time for him to leave The Company. He was really a Mentor to/for me. I have to admit “I learned a lot from him”. I accepted that opportunity & jumped right in! I know there were those that were against my selection. But I can say “in time I proved all of those Skeptics wrong”.

I was offered, after Sixteen (16) years in a Sales Territory, the opportunity to be The Used Equipment Manager for the Lift Truck Division. It was truly a challenge. A good challenge! The only problem was you can’t please everyone. Pricin’, availability, Management, they all had to be pleased. It was a thankless job by many, dependin’ on whether pricin’ decisions favored a specific Sales Rep on a given day or not. Then there was the Management always questionin’ profit margins, cost of inventory & volume or lack of volume of specific units. Never a dull moment…But after four (4) years in that position well, I’ll just say that things took a sudden turn…

I must say though “the last Three (3) years, of my career, had me on Pins & Needles on a day by day basis”. Would I have a job tomorrow/the next mornin’? When you have a fallin’ out (with one particular manager), over personal issues, there are no guarantees about tomorrow/the next day! Needless to say ” for the last thee (3) years it was no longer FUN to go to work”. But I can say “EVERY DAY I got up, earlier than most, went to work, & did my job to the best of my abilities”. I can’t say as much about others though. I was always committed to the Owners/Family of The Company not to “Short Sheet” them! They had been too good to me thru the years. NO hard feelin’s towards them.

May 29, 2009 came & I was gone. My Career, Successful Career, was finished! I can say “for me all the Stars & Planets lined up just right in my life”. My life was now gettin’ ready to take a New Turn/Direction. Twelve (12) days later my first (1st) Grandchild was born. I am now “PAPA” & lovin’ life all anew…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

 

…”May the Peace Of The Mornin’ Be Upon You All”…

Fresh refill on my Mug-O-Joe, the aroma waftin’ my way, comfortable in my swivel chair on The Deck, legs propped up on my fluffy pillow & stool (my Bride got for me), Ceilin’ Fan remote in arms reach (& turned on Low). Fish are bustin’ the surface catchin’ breakfast. Pete our resident Blue Heron walkin’ the seawall scoutin’ for his meal. Yeah, this is the RIGHT way to start my day, right here in the front row. Nothin’ to listen to but the sounds of Nature The Lord has provide me on “this day of Pentecost”. It’s a beautiful sermon, if ya just listen & let it sink in. Oh, Pete has company on the seawall, a White Heron. The/My American Flag, down by the lake, is hangin’ flat as there is NO breeze on the water this mornin’. “God Bless The Red, White, & Blue”! The ever changin’ reflection’s on the water are somewhat hypnotizin’, they seem to allow the sounds of the mornin’ to be better absorbed in my soul. Four Blue Birds are restin’ on the Power-lines runnin’ to the house. A lone Red Bird/Cardinal restin’ in the Large Oak down in the yard. So colorful they are. So vibrant! May the Peace Of The Mornin’ Be Upon You All…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”dream of bein’ a Princess”…

I’m an American Male. Why oh why is there NOTHIN’ News Worthy on a major TV Channel or even Cable Network this mornin’?

{{{{{ What’s the BIG DEAL ? }}}}}…OK! OK! OK! The Royal Weddin’ is over & done with! Now let the fightin’ begin over furniture, colors of paint for the Mini Palace, how many maids (no that’s not racial) will she need, & who will be doin’ the cookin”? WHO CARES? Has Las Vegas started postin’ Odds as to “how long the Love Story will last”? As I told my Bride, as she was sippin’ her Mug-O-Joe, as she was watchin’em board the Royal Carriage “I truly wish someone in the crowd would have popped one of those horses, with a rock from a sling shot, on the butt & watched them tear off wildly thru the streets”. Now THAT would have been {{{{{ EXCITIN’ ! }}}}} & well worth the broadcast time, to ME. I truly do not understand the infatuation with it. Other than mostly all the women, & some men, of the world dream of bein’ a Princess. Yeah, well those odds are slim & none…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>

…”It’s those innocent comments”…

Recently there have been several references about Squirrels on the internet. Many of’em show them tryin’ to rob the Bird Feeders. Others have’em walkin’ power lines, fences, etc. Then I, quite often, enjoy watchin’em from The Deck, as they scurry up & down the trees in the yard playin’ “Mornin’ Chase”, or so it seems.

Then there are the “dusty ole memories” of all those teenage years & silly comments about “Squirrels”! Yeah, you know what I’m talkin’ about…BUTT in today’s world “Squirrel” refers to the fact that someone gets easily distracted from what they’re doin’ or sayin’. Kinda like that dog in cartoons as a Squirrel catches it’s attention & off it goes tryin’ to catch it…

Then my mind turns to two (2) very brief, but to me very funny comments made “In Jest”, not once but twice, durin’ innocent  conversations between two different Young Ladies & Me years apart. The entire conversations, thru the years, have faded as they do. BUTT like many other things, those just can’t be un-heard & un-seen scenarios in MY mind, these always bring a chuckle to me & a smile to my face. The Young Ladies, felt the need to interject how they were feelin’ @ those particular mornin’s/moments in time as they said, with huge smiles each I must admit, glowin’ faces, & bubblin’ energy that they were “Bright Eyed & Bushy Tailed”! Who says “Lightenin’ Don’t Strike Twice”?

Well, I could only look’em in the eyes (yes their EYES) & say “I’ll bet you are” (I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity)! It took a moment, a lonnnng moment, to sink in with them both. BUTT suddenly they both seemed to realize just what they had said or inferred to. Then, separately of course as they happened years apart, they started to turn many “Shades Of RED” as they tried to explain what they “did or didn’t mean” with their comments. I just stood there, both times, the entire times, lettin’ them talk, as I just kept “smilin’ & enjoyin’ the moment”…It’s those innocent comments that sometimes just really make our day. Ya know?…”Hold’em Hook”!…..BG>