Saturday, May 22, 2010

The last about the mean old grumpy guy

Busy, busy, busy. That's what this time of year is. If it's not a birthday, it's a graduation or a wedding or a new baby. A downright exciting time in history but it's been keeping me away from the blog a lot.

The old. mean guy told me the rest of his story while we were standing there and I thought I'd pass it along. All those years ago, when all the neighborhood kids thought he'd kill us if he caught us, things were not exactly as they seemed. He worked a lot and the family kept to themselves alright, but when I'd get an opportunity to talk with them they were mostly like everyone else to me. But, I was always just a touch nervous about those rumors. You know what I mean. If you hear something enough you start to wonder if there is some truth to it all. That wasn't the case though. This is what he told me the other day when I asked him if he was really that mean.

He and his kids spent so much time in the yard and house all the time because they were caring for his wife. She had terminal cancer, or rather a deadly type of leukemia. the doctors had given her all the treatment available at the time and pretty much sent her home to die. The mean old guy and his kids decided they'd do what they could to help her with whatever time she had left. For his part, the mean old guy worked an extra job to pay for some alternative treatments they learned about to make her more comfortable. They were very expensive and they had no insurance. The kids came home right after school and did the housework and cooking as well as helped her with her flowers and little lady like things she enjoyed. They did it because they loved their mom, not because they were slaves. The mean old guy planted a huge garden because he'd heard that natural foods were more healthy and had some curative qualities too. All this watching after his wife went on for a long time. The doctors had given her 6 months to live and she made it almost 25 years. Even after the kids grew up and moved away the mean old guy kept caring for her. She eventually passed away quickly and comfortably from some form of pneumonia. He said all in all they had a good life and he was still happy because of it.

Sometimes mean, old, grumpy guys have another side to them I guess. People aren't always what they appear to be at our first impression. Do you know anyone like that? I wish you a fine day................Joe

Monday, May 17, 2010

ACLU, Public Profanity and free speech

Call me old fashioned but I believe that respect for others is important in our civilized society.

The airwaves are filled with news about police in Pennsylvania ticketing people (probably mostly guys) for public profanity. The ACLU is checking in on fighting the tickets because of our right to free speech. A few years ago some guy on the Rifle River in Michigan lost his temper and yelled out a string of filthy profanities in front of a woman and her children. A police officer in the area ticketed the guy for public profanity. The courts took over and, in their wisdom decided the jerk didn't do anything wrong. I guess that in the name of freedom of speech we can verbally abuse anyone within earshot. Even if it means scaring and intimidating women and little kids. The guy on the Rifle river must be proud and his parents too.

The ACLU is supposed to protect our rights. If they feel that the right to blast away with any means of profanity we see fit at the time, I believe they are dead wrong! In my mind there is no other reason for profanity than intimidation when it comes to speaking it in front of those who are offended by it. Is free intimidation a right? I don't think so!

That's why I say that I may be thinking i an old fashioned way. Up until a short time ago it was against our core beliefs to use profanity in front of women and children as both a sign of respect and also it was against the law. Men or more accurately anyone who had any backbone at all refrained from filthy language unless they were in a select group of personal acquaintances as a sign of good manners and to avoid the wrath of the law. In the past few years I have been subjected to some of the worst language I've ever heard, more often than I care to count from women and teenage girls. My question is: Where has our sense of personal dignity gone?

Just who is winning this battle of a free society when we can't go anywhere and be free of verbal intimidation. And people wonder why our children fail to adopt normal behavior. I say to heck with the ACLU and those spineless weasels they are trying to protect. That's my opinion on this issue. There is no useful purpose in talking that way in public. (Are you picking up what I'm throwing down Mr. Biden?)..........................Joe, the old fashioned guy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More about the mean old guy

As we meandered out the door chatting about how we were today, baseball season coming on and my grand kids he listened intently with a bright smile on his face. It was difficult to remember how he was feared by almost every kid in the neighborhood. He didn't smile back then. He worked almost constantly at two jobs and when he was home he busied himself in his garden or with the chickens or rabbits. The only time I saw him doing anything else was on Sunday morning when the whole family went to church. They arrived early at the first service of the day, which at the time was 6:30am. They also sat in the very last pew way in the back all by themselves. He didn't look mean to me sitting in church like that with his wife and kids around him. They stayed sitting after the service until most everyone else was gone and then they walked back home after usually saying something to the pastor. Then they spent most of the day in the house and garden.

His three kids went to middle school about four blocks away. Somehow the mean old guy managed to walk with them every day. Those kids seemed just like every other kid except they didn't go out for lunch or recess. They also took off a lot of sick days. And, although they were not rude and did talk a little with other kids they didn't mix with them at all after school. That added to the rumors. Some kids said they heard from another kid that the mean old guy kept those kids as slaves in the basement and only let them out to go to school and they were probably fed some kind of mind control drug to keep them from talking about being slaves. They certainly didn't act like slaves when I stopped by to collect for the paper or bring my seed catalog.

Today is a garden day for me. Replacing some plants that were frozen out and putting in some new. Fresh food from the garden is a real treat. The old mean guy seemed to know that too
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