Fortunately, nobody had rescinded my diploma. Neither had I landed in one of those fish-out-of-water, “impotence” dreams where the hapless, middle-age man, who has long since forgotten the difference between a sine and cosine, is thrown into an advanced geometry class full of National Merit Scholars.
Loved it; as in it was a steamy Friday evening following another day of triple digit temps in Alabama and we just wanted to be in the AC and not have to think too hard and just sit back and lose ourselves in a fast-paced action story. In this case, one resonating with the early-60s James Bond, “Mad Men” period vibe that scratches my nostalgic itch these days. That kind of “loved it.”
You won’t see this movie among the list of finalists in next year’s Academy Awards, but it fit the bill for such Friday night circumstances and was another enjoyable installment in the X-Men movies series which started in 2000.… Read the rest
I was an immaculately-groomed half-pint in September 1968 as I stood by the road in front of our brick rural rancher waiting for Bus #18 to usher me into the next 12 years of mandatory public school education. A book bag in one hand, a G.I. Joe lunchbox in the other, I was escorted by my older sister, a worldly-wise 5th grader who was under orders to watch my back.
I heard the bus before I could see it. It had another stop about a quarter mile down the road, at the foot of a low-grade hill. I listened as its diesel engine geared down, brakes squealing, and then there was a pause that seemed to last forever as my neighbors boarded.… Read the rest
On January 31, 2011, Eunice Sanborn, widely believed to be the world’s oldest person, died in Jacksonville, Texas at the age of 115–bless her heart. She handed off the baton to Besse Cooper, 114, who was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee on August 26, 1896. Bless her heart too.
And let’s not forget to bless Frank Buckles while we’re at it. A veritable pup in comparison–he turned 110 on February 1st–Frank is the sole remaining US veteran of World War I, the Last American Doughboy (what cohort of uber-humans, pray tell, comes before The Greatest Generation?).
When the three of them, squirming, grunting, caterwauling little bundles of joy and raw, “FEED ME!”… Read the rest
The Purveyor eyed me warily as I walked into his shop, located on a charming, picturesque side street just off of Main in historic downtown Lexington, Virginia. I apparently didn’t strike him as fellow traveler on the wine tasting circuit. Perhaps his nose was finely attuned to sniffing out “Who’s Who” in the world of high-brow alcoholic beverages.
Maybe he simply smelled the moonshine in my blood.
“So, which of the Villa Appalaccia wines do you like best?” I asked him. Eyegal and I had veered off the beaten path coming up from Alabama for my 30th high school reunion and driven down to Meadows of Dan.… Read the rest
I was finishing up my charting on the last patient of the day last Friday afternoon when DU, a friend from Harding and a longtime blog reader and commenter, left me a message: “Eyeguy, call me when you have a minute. Thanks. RTR!”
DU is a Bama man, born and bred, and I could tell by the excitement in his voice that college football fever was eating up his bones. I’m a relative late-comer to the party, but after reading Warren St. John’s Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer, the fundamentalist bible of fanatical Bama fandom, a few years ago, I repented of my childhood allegiances to Virginia Tech and Notre Dame and was washed beneath the Crimson Flood.… Read the rest
They say our stretch of beach was named for the Satsuma oranges that used to grow meekly there until the two consecutive winters of 1927-28 when massive frosts killed them off for good. Now long stretches of the formerly-white sands, which could reflect the sun so brightly they would burn your corneas if you weren’t careful, are marinated in oil. The orange-tinged granules spread like spilled Tang from the entrance of Perdido Bay, ringed off with long lines of floating boom, through Gulf State Park, past Gulf Shores and the stacked rows of new condos and beach homes rebuilt defiantly in the aftermath of Ivan and Katrina’s twin ravagings, and on to Fort Morgan.… Read the rest
I had a very smart man, a rocket scientist in fact (we have a few in Huntsville), tell me recently that America was going to hell in a hand basket. He didn’t say it quite that way because a respectable Christian, Southern gentleman would never drop the “H” bomb in front of the ladies unless he was reading it out of the Bible. But that was the basic gist of it.
He said a lot of things, that we had strayed from the intent of the Founding Fathers to establish a “Christian Nation,” that widespread belief in evolution was the root of much of society’s evil and ills, including increasing teenage suicide rates, and that really things had grown much worse since prayer was banned in public schools.… Read the rest
“Have a nice weekend,” I called out to my technician last Friday shortly after 4:00 PM. “Off to get a haircut. It’s getting a little out of hand,” I chuckled. I patted the top of my crown where a shock of unruly hair shot straight up, trying in vain to press it down flat. I looked like Einstein after sticking his finger in a light socket.
When I stepped outside, I heard the sirens in full, 360 degree surround sound. From every direction came the warbling wail; if the sun hadn’t been shining I would’ve sworn there was a tornado on the ground.… Read the rest
Number One Son and I had just been discussing what could possibly be on the palms of Alabama’s new Nike Pro Combat player gloves, and it didn’t take us long to find out.
We knew that the Crimson Tide was among several teams that would be receiving the new gear, which featured a particular avatar representing the “spirit” of each team, but Bama’s was missing from Nike’s preview website.
But when Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Mark Ingram scored his first touchdown in the BCS Title Game against Texas, he flashed the new gloves toward the camera for all the world to see.… Read the rest
When it comes to football, we were a motley crew, united only in our love for Duke basketball. Clemson, LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Penn State and Rutgers were just a few of the schools represented in our little knot of frozen fandom near the front of the line.
Kid Clemson, the guy in the Tiger hoodie in front of me, was a veritable walking encyclopedia of sports statistics.… Read the rest
When I finally worked up the nerve to hand “Hank” some cash, he drew back as if I was coming at him with a knife. This startled me, and for a moment I wondered what kind of fix my attempted charity had gotten me into. Would he lunge back at me in self defense? Or would he start to channel the cacophony of voices inside his head and yell profanities at me instead? I braced myself for just about anything. I suddenly wished I had just left well enough alone and dropped off the money at the checkout counter, just like everyone else did.… Read the rest
In many respects, every day is Veterans Day for me. By virtue of my chosen profession, I have spent the majority of my waking hours over the past 17 years with former soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. By and large, they are a respectable, salt-of-the-earth lot, as good as they come.
It’s an honor to care for them each day, and since I never served in the military myself, I’ve come to think of it as a way of giving back to my country a little bit of what it has given me. But I’ve formed a few impressions about the military and war over the years, and perhaps today is as good a day as any to share some of them with you.… Read the rest
Pardon me, but does the goofy-looking nerd in the suspenders and top hat reading Mother Goose look like the type of guy who would strike fear in the hearts of murderous Ku Klux Klansmen?
Um, no, I don’t think so.
And if you had asked any of us who attended Harding University in the early 1980s the same question and what we thought of the future prospects of Jerry “Boo” Mitchell, first-class clown, favorite chapel announcer and author of the somewhat subversive “Fifth Column” which appeared weekly in the school newspaper The Bison, we would have likely laughed and said something like “high school speech teacher,” or “radio talk show host,” anything, really, other than the Civil Rights version of Gabriel Van Helsing.… Read the rest