B. Grandmother’s Advice (18)

We required an “Exit Interview” for all teachers at Atlantic Christian College.   I asked one question of Clifton Black, our first black basketball player.   He was from a rural Eastern North Carolina town.

“How did you do so well athletically, socially and academically?”
“Coach, when I left Conetoe (home village) my Grandmother said, ‘Clifton Earl, you know the difference between right and wrong.   Do right!’ That’s about it.”

I saw Cliff this past fall for the first time in thirty years. What struck me was how proud he was of his children.

C. long range planning (103)

I noticed Sam Erwin IV got elected recently. That reminded me of Watergate Sam, and specifically his comment when the North Carolina legislature banned the teaching of evolution in the state’s public schools. Sam concluded that the one good thing about that law was that “…it absolves the monkeys of the jungle of any responsibility for the human race in general, and the North Carolina legislature in particular.”
Given the extreme political intransigency in this century one can only hope. I did notice Michelle Bachmann just recently has changed positions on “gay marriage”: “…boring! Plus homosexuality is hard wired, naturally.” That is evolution! And at a quicker rate than usual.
Author Bill Bryson put evolution in perspective in his A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING. Comparing the earth’s total age to one’s human wingspan, Bryson notes from the tip of one’s middle finger to the opposite wrist represents the time from the earth’s beginning (approximately 14 BILLION years ago) until the very first sign of life showed up. One nail file off the opposite middle finger? “The length of time mankind as we know it has existed on this earth.”
Maybe the gay issue isn’t such a big deal. Or prayer in school. Who gets to gun tote and where, the price of gas or the stock market.
Jared Diamond spoke at Elon University about the last two hundred years. One question from the audience was what about the next 100 years. “If we aren’t better stewards of the earth there may not be another hundred!”
As my friend, Jim Toney–retired Economics professor, often demanded,”,,,we need a PLAN!”
Where to start?
Try this: Google “unusual religions”. I wonder how many innocents have died by “…killing in the name of the lord”? But the bible says “…there will always be wars and rumors of war”. Really? No changing things? Hellfire—we used to be cannibals. And not that long ago.
How about greed. How is that working out in America? Corruption in 2000? Carolina basketball your big worry? How about hunger? ISIS AND GAS PRICES? Too close to talk about?
Do we really want to dis climate change? Green and clean energy a non-issue?
The dog has caught the bus. We don’t need any more gridlock. We need a plan. A GOOD LONG RANGE PLAN.

“…so let us not talk falsely, the hour is getting late.”
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER–b.dylan

CHATEAU LOW RENT (74)

I wasn’t a good drinker.   Not that I didn’t drink a lot, I just didn’t handle it well.    Some do, some don’t.
So I quit years ago.
As a non-drinker you have some advantages, some disadvantages.   One of the things I’ve observed is a shift in the beverages consumed.   And the consumers.
When I left the “participant” category, hard booze and cocktails were in large part consumed by males.   Boone’s Farm and Lake Country Red were about all I knew about wine.
Maybe Allison Krauss was right: “… you’re drinking whiskey when it should be wine.’
This seems to have happened. And probably for the greater good.   More men drink wine today
Are more women drinking too much now?   “After the third glass the wine drinks man (woman too?).”
Maybe its because I’m some what of a tightwad, but it bugs me to split a restaurant bill with three 60$ bottles of wine on the tab.   Once, after the main meal, I ordered four different desserts.   “Trying to even things up”, I threatened. Vetoed again by my Bride.
Many say legalizing pot would be a bad decision : A” gateway” drug that would lead to bigger problems?   Have you seen the movie HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS?
     No one seems to be getting anywhere toward solving the number of young people jailed on pot charges.   Would legal pot take the money out of the criminals hands?   Maybe save some salvageable young people. Isn’t it worth a try given current failures?   Bet our North Carolina farmers would love it.   Plus “sin tax” revenue.
Some of us have trouble with “moderation”,   I’m still fighting ice dream and BBQ.   Is that a “word to the wise”, Moderation?

Allison again: “He put the bottle to his head and pulled the trigger” (WHISKEY LULLABY).

E. SHOULD I RETIRE?

On retirement:
 Don’t say you are retired, say you’re unemployed. The volunteer
chasers won’t bother you.
 “Everynight is Saturday night,and Saturday night is NewYear’s Eve.”
 The “Big” paper comes on Sunday.
 I’m down to two keys – Home, Car.
 “I don’t do nothing and I don’t start ‘til noon.” Bum Phillips
When people ask you about retirement wanting to know (1) what do you do with your time? And (2) do you have enough money? They are really wondering about themselves.

Read DIE BROKE.

F. CHOOSING SIDES?( )

Serious Stuff: Politics, Religion, Race, Poverty, Education, and War.
A friend of mine suggested that I was politically a “liberal”. Truly I have not thought of myself as political. In my college days, a fine professor, Dan McFarland, said there were really four political parties in America: Liberal Democrats, Conservative Democrats, Liberal Republicans, and Conservative Republicans. My guess is like most Americans, I am a “blend”. If liberal means free, or open, or excepting of individual differences, or generous, then that seems acceptable to me. I do not think one can be “… so open-minded that your brain falls out”. Therefore, caution, respect for tradition, and many conservative approaches are often ideas that appeal to me also. Haste and waste are not conservative in my thinking. .
So, probably I am a” Conservative Democrat”. Okay with me!
It appears to me that politics and religion are a lot alike in that they often “splinter” into different
groups. The current tea party Republicans are certainly different from blueblood Republicans. And it seems each threatens the other more than the opposition. My guess is the tea party will do more damage to Gov. Chris Christie than the Democrats.
I know the North Carolina people and politicians I was proud of were considered either liberal or Progressive (Bill Friday, Terry Sanford, Jim Hunt, and then like). But I also revered Sam Ervin. Jesse Helms was one I felt represented the mean-spirited segment of our state’s people who were frightening and all too real. And often race was the issue.
I know that the” other side” feels just as strongly that I am wrong. Perhaps only the Civil War represented a more divisive time in America.
It appears that the 2000–2008 (Bush 2 administrative years) caused us to “choose sides”. And it seems that feelings were so deep that once committed to their view, very few were willing to listen, much less alter their stance. Winning the argument seems more important than learning the truth of the matter.
•“…you are right from your side and I’m right from mine”. ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS — Dylan.
Where do your strong beliefs come from? Nature or nurture? Choice or chance? Having grown up as the son of a Southern Baptist minister much of my early influences came from my parents and the church and it’s Community. I was in the church for various sermons and programs three or four days a week. For a youngster there were some pretty heavy questions. Heaven and hell? Right and wrong? Bible verses, teachers, religion from all angles.