Yield: A busy weekend
I’m writing this column on a Monday and I can report that it follows a weekend of parties within our community. First, ol’ Hap E. Goluckie, one of our regulars at the Saffordville Old Gentle Mens’ Breakfast Club, celebrated a festive 70s birthday party — but he didn’t know about it until the last minute.
His family and friends planned a surprise birthday party and pulled it off without a hitch. More than 200 invited guests arrived at the old Toledo Township School in Saffordville at 6 p.m. Saturday and were waiting for Hap when he arrived at 6:30 completely unaware. He thought he was going to Council Grove to participate in a grandchild’s birthday party.
When the car he wuz riding in got within sight of the school, ol’ Hap wondered out loud “What the heck is going on at the school? Nobody’s contacted me about getting a key to the place.” It wuzn’t until the car pulled to a stop at the school that the truth hit ol’ Hap.
“I can’t believe this got pulled off and I never had a clue,” he marveled.
Then he marveled at some of his guests. One drove up from Houston. Cousins arrived from Colorado. Friends and family came from all points on the compass.
And the party included a ton of fried chicken, pulled pork, a host of trimmings and desserts and bountiful amounts of drinks — hard and soft, sweet and puckery. Why, the locally famous disc jockey, Billy Cleaver, even provided the music.
I told ol’ Hap that I’ve been to a lot of big birthday parties, but I think his topped them all for attendance and the “surprise” element.
Then the next day ol’ Hap’s cousin, “Punkin” Cellars and his lovely wife Roga celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at a spacious church activities center. Many of the same folks we’d seen the day before at Hap’s birthday party attended the golden anniversary festivities.
One wall wuz lined with generations of the family’s pictures — a thorough cataloging of the family’s growth, progression and upward mobility up through the decades.
My good buddy, ol’ Mocephus, wuz sitting with Nevah and me and recalled a story about Punkin’s youth. Seems he grew up in a huge family with somewhere around a dozen kids. Well, as it happened, as a boy ol’ Mo wuz working in a field right next to the Cellar family dwelling and he got invited to share the noon meal with them.
Mo said he sat down at the long family kitchen table and a small portion of the family’s kids sat down to eat with him. Mo said the family matriarch came in with a fresh round of grub, looked down at one of her sons waiting to be fed and said roughly to the lad, “What the heck are you doing here? I’ve already fed you. Now skedaddle.”
Suffice it to say that the Golden Anniversary celebration was a big hit and added one more big memory to the family’s collective treasure trove of memories.
I tell you bluntly that some of my memory cells must have headed to other parts. Since I delight in telling stories about other folks’ foibles, I’d be a hypocrite if I failed to tell similar stories on myself.
This one’s a doozy. I keep my sunglasses in my pickup truck in the garage so they’re easy to find when it’s sunny outdoors. Well, one recent sunny mid-morning I went into my huge garage intent on getting on my UTV and going outside to do my chores and a little gardening.
First thing, I go to the pickup and put on my sunglasses and put my regular glasses on the seat. Then I got distracted with something and spent several minutes puttering around the garage. Then, I promptly went over to my truck, hopped in and smashed my regular glasses. I didn’t even want to drive the truck. I wanted to drive my UTV.
But, what wuz done wuz done. I cussed myself loudly for being senile and dumb, went out and did my chores and gardening and then made a trip to the eye doctor’s office in Emporia, Kan., and let the fine folks there repair my glasses for free.
All I can say is the road to old age is full of potholes.
A nice lady reader from Simla, Colo., sent me a handwritten letter saying that she recalled my telling about an Iowa horseman’s funeral when the family brought his favorite Quarter Horse to the graveside services.
The Colorado lady said at her cousin’s graveside service, the family brought her favorite horse to the grave site. The lady said the horse neighed quietly like it was giving a final salute to its owner’s casket. She said it wuz touching.
No doubt it wuz. And, who really knows and can question the feelings of a grieving animal? I can’t.
I read an obscure news item that one French city has trained a bevy of common crows, or rooks, to pick up cigarette butts and rubbish in a local theme park in an effort to “use nature to clean up the environment.”
The birds will be encouraged to spruce up the park through the use of a small box that delivers a tasty nugget of bird food each time the crow deposits a cigarette end or small piece of rubbish.
Now, if we can train starlings, sparrows and pigeons to do the same, the world will be sparking clean in no time.
That’s a thought heavy enuf to ponder for this week. Have a good ‘un. ❖