Where to begin? Thereâ€™s so many good subjects this week. Should we talk about Jade Helm (not really one of my issues), the pathetically small number that our army is being reduced to, Iran becoming a nuclear state, or something to do with the coming Presidential election? Well with all that available, letâ€™s just start out with the popular modern day term, â€ślolâ€ť.
Jâ€™ever notice? It seems as if we â€śtawlkâ€ť different out here in the Big Country of West Texas. I know that I lead the pack in the â€śwho talks the worst or best West Texanâ€ť. (Best if itâ€™s a contest and worst if youâ€™re from north of the Red River and listening to it.) I know, really know, that when someone from up there or out there calls my office and talks to me they get a mental picture of a guy sitting out on a tall front porch leaning back in a cane bottom chair with his bare feet propped up on a sleeping coon dog and chewing on a wheat straw.
Students of history tell us that something like the American Revolution was bound to happen in the social and political climate of the 1700s. The amazing fact â€“ which we still celebrate â€“ is that it was successful to the extent of creating a world power.
Well, that was certainly interesting. As someone who is seriously â€śintoâ€ť how government finances, or doesnâ€™t, various things, especially fixing potholes, Iâ€™m always interested in what other people have to say about such subjects. Or at least Iâ€™m interested as long as they make some kind of sense. Unfortunately for me, sometimes I have to read through a fair amount of a piece before I can tell which is which. Then again, some of those pieces are pretty interesting, in a train wreck kind of way, because they reveal more about the author than perhaps the author intended - or maybe not.
Jâ€™ever notice? If itâ€™s hunting, fishing, or penning wild cows, the first storyteller doesnâ€™t have a chance since everyone within hearing distance will have a better story. This is a reversal of the roles, but since Iâ€™m writinâ€™ the writinâ€™, I am going to tell the best one first and then declare me the winner: This old cowboy was showing a young cowboy around the ranch where he had just been hired on. The old cowboy said, â€śThese cattle in this big pasture are real wild. Theyâ€™re so wild, thereâ€™s just three or four in a bunch and in some bunches thereâ€™s not any.â€ť
As regular readers of my columns will be well aware, a topic that I feel very strongly about is the so-called â€śminimum wageâ€ť. Recently, someone had asked me what my feelings are about employee pay, and I responded that I wanted to see everybody get the pay they deserved and a chance to make a decent living. I personally think that by inserting itself between employers and employees through such methods as the minimum wage law, the federal government greatly slows, or even sometimes prevents, the ability of businesses to financially reward people who have earned better pay.
Remember the days when the refrigerator was always full, but you never went to the store? Clean clothing appeared as though by magic, and the house was normally clean, without your effort? Despite having to bow to the authority of a parent, and live by the rules of the house, which was, at times, frustrating, those appear to have been halcyon days â€“ at least from the perspective of several years!
Jâ€™ever notice? Certain times of the year trigger certain memories. This time of year is about the time when farming spring-planted crops is fixing to be in full swing. By now, most farmers have patched washes and ends and plowed up terraces. I remember my earliest farming experiences. The terraces were usually plowed up with a two-bottom moleboard (covering twenty-eight inches at a time) or a two-disc plow. The land that was going to be bedded was already finished. When the weeds and Johnson grass started growing, farmers would start plowing beds.
We got a lot of things out of the social and civil unrest of the sixties and seventies, and thankfully a lot of those â€śthingsâ€ť havenâ€™t really stuck with us. On the other hand, some of the language has, which means a few of the concepts, or ways of thinking about things have become part of the landscape.
It has not been many years ago that persons thought of â€śdog showsâ€ť as some rare, exotic pastime indulged in by the wealthy folk back east or on the west coast. When I would mention spending my weekends in Dallas, Amarillo or San Antonio showing my pets, few folk had any comprehension of what I was doing. Times have certainly changed, to the point that most people know when Westminster will be televised, the AKC national (December) and the National Dog Show which always follows the Macyâ€™s Parade on Thanksgiving Day.