What do Shirley Reasoner, Bob & Theresa Halliday, Duane West, Billy Wilkinson, and Bob Thurbon all have in common other than being members of greatest High School graduating class of all time?
They seldom, if ever, come in contact with each other. Their educational, military, geographical, political, religious and professional histories, opinions and circumstances lack any discernible similarities. If all five parties were put into a social setting together, say a large cocktail party or church gathering, they would probably leave the event without ever realizing that some of those other old farts used to hang out “on the hill”.
This is definitely not the case. Unbeknownst to them, these classmates and their spouses share a very intimate, unforgettable, and probably somewhat unsavory life experience. This happening was not from years ago and there will be no hint of its ever occurring found in the scribblings in our 1958 Year Book. No … the shared experience these Wildcats have is that each of them has been imposed upon by the Master Parasitus.
Once entry into your home is achieved, either by subterfuge or pleading poverty, Jim Powell makes himself right “at home”. He will, invariably, seek out your favorite easy chair and, as he reclines to relax, kick off his low-budget shoes and flex his bare feet. He always arrives around 5:00 PM just in time to be offered free libations and assurances that a good restaurant is nearby. After he begins to quench his thirst, he proceeds to pontificate. This man can really talk. He can talk and talk and talk and talk some more. Any comments or topics presented by Jim’s host or hostess most often are limited by–what’s the old saying? … can’t get one in edgewise.
Jim Powell has a memory that transcends the ages–everything you wished you could forget, he remembers and drags out of the woodwork. He laughingly tells your husband, in graphic detail, why a boyfriend, he never knew you dated, was nick-named “Stud” … then, still addressing the man of the house but winking at you, asks him if he ever got “rid of that itchy, penicillin resistant, reoccurring rash?” It doesn’t take you long to start telling Jim how early you and your spouse retire for the evening and that the best restaurants “fill up fast this time of year.”–anything to get him to put his shoes back on, change the topics of conversation, and out of the house. Maybe public surroundings will temper his recollections …
Naturally, after entertaining and feeding him, it would be rather rude not to offer Jim a place to lay his head for the night. Realizing that this would be a significant imposition on a person he hasn’t seen in, perhaps, years … he surely wouldn’t accept the invitation.
I want to thank Shirley, Bob & Theresa, Duane, Billy, Bob Thurbon and any of my other classmates, including Connie Berry & Truman that I have targeted for my home invasion tactics over the past few years. I want to especially express my appreciation to those individuals in each household that have been exposed to, and had to contend with, the only truly memorable and symbolic last impression Jim Powell has ever left behind when he departs, sometimes before dawn, the next morning.
What do you think? … You think he just forgot? … You think he even knows how?
Maybe he’ll send flowers or at least a “Thank You” card … Nah–never happen.
profile: definition ....
meaning: 1. a short description of someone's life, work, character, and information about the person's interests and beliefs.
meaning: 2. an outline of that same person's face as it is seen when someone is looking at them from the side. If you see someone in profile, you only see them from one side.
From these two definitions I can only conclude one thing: profiles as such and offered by job seekers, politicians, and aspiring writers, risk falling into very obvious categorical traps ..... they will be hopelessly self-edifying and boldly "two faced"!
To avoid these pitfalls I intend to state an illusion and immediately counter it with the fact. If the latter is too candid or disturbing, just disregard it! This will allow me to come off (in your estimation) as the fine upstanding, clean cut, like-minded, and adventurous elderly gentleman you were hoping for.
Illusion: I'm an accomplished "sailor" and have spent over 50 years routinely putting out to sea, first under canvas and in my latter years with only the diesel iron wind at my back.
Fact: In all of my voyages I've never spent more than eight or nine full nights underway and that was only because, over open water, Walker's Cay was too far from Palm City or Havana from Key West. In reality, as the sun begins to set I'm usually tucked into some snug little cove, the hook set, and an icy drink in my hand. I'm not an accomplished sailor, I'm a fantastic "anchorer"!
Illusion: I'm a semi-talented "writer" that creates interesting characters in situations and settings that, sometimes, move a story along.
Fact: In most cases, I am the "character" and I've already lived the story. Then all I need to do is figure out how to just pretend I'm sitting in some sleazy dive in the Keys after a few beers and start to tell my story to ........ (only problem is: .......... is it “i” before “e” except at sea?)
Illusion: Because I am openly conservative and speak with a Southern drawl, I'm looked upon as a right-wing good-ole-boy that picnics under Confederate monuments, lives and breathes Fox News, drives a gun-racked Ford 150, and wears his "Make America Great Again" hat to bed every night.
Fact: I'm very discouraged with what is going on in Washington in general and at the White House in particular. I supported its current occupant and, seeing what options are shaping up on the horizon, I may be forced to continue doing so but he(and we) could do so much better. Do I have to surrender my judgment and intellect to remain a Republican?
I won't dwell on the President's Smoot-Hawley like policies on trade and tariffs ... time and the markets will be the final arbiters and greed on my part forces me to hope for the best. Needless to say, I endorse his impact on the Judicial Branch of Government and I could care less what next week's "horndog rumor" and accompanying hush-money payoff have in store .... I'll leave that to his poor wife and "Morning Joe"! But I do have one pet peeve: we don't need a $5,000,000,000.00 wall to keep out Guatemalans and their Central American neighbors. They only constitute the latest installment in 4 centuries of migration to our shores and may be the hardest working bunch yet assembled. The hardships they are fleeing are not unlike the pogroms against Jews in the Middle East or the 19th century Irish potato famine. The seemingly demeaning statement of: "how would the roof ever get patched or the grass cut without them?" or a variation thereof has been directed at virtually every American's fore-bearers. Unless you stepped ashore on Plymouth Rock or the swampy landing at Jamestown, there was always somebody "better than you" waiting to curse your arrival ……… or put you in chains.
On the flip side of all of this, and without inserting its own Illusion, we don't need porn starlets and their attorneys being featured on Sunday morning talk shows answering pointed questions from wax haired "contributors" about our Presidents libido! What we do desperately need is a media culture that will demand the resurrection and employment of an old concept ...... news REPORTING! On my home cable TV hookup; Fox News is on channel 44 and MSNBC resides on 42. The Guide tells me that the channel between them ...43 ... is dedicated to financial news but that can't be true. The call letters may be CNBC but, judging from the disparity in the adjacent editorializing, it must be Star Wars! ..... the distance between the adjoining galaxies is so "far, far, away"?
Over the past few months I've become a reluctant, almost incarcerated, soccer fan. The game is played, not with a pitch .... but on one, lasts an hour and a half, and often ends with a score of nil-nil. I endure all this because my sole source of, even remotely, unbiased television news and happenings in the good old USA can be found only on the British Broadcasting Corp ..... go Cardiff City!
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