Archive for Thursday, October 9, 2003

Bits and Pieces

A few Bits and Pieces here and there add up

October 9, 2003

I believe this column marks an anniversary. I am so bad with dates that I have to ask my children what year they were born or do some sneaky figuring on my fingers when they aren't looking. I sometimes forget my own age but do remember the date -- probably because I was born on Christmas Day and also because of the number of times you have to give your birth date to various busy- bodies in the society we live in today.
I believe it was October of last year when I sat in this same workplace (a closet converted into an office) and wrote a meandering piece that eventually became titled "Bits and Pieces."
I recall Fred Stewart remarking to his son Johnny, who happens to be my son-in-law, that he thought the piece was okay but he had a terrible time following what it was I was trying to say.
Not much has changed since then -- the title is the same and the meandering continues. I've thought about taking a writing class, but life intrudes, and I am always in the middle of something. Right now, I can't imagine what that is, but ask me tomorrow and I'll tell you I have a jillion things I want to do that day, none of which includes a writing class.
I sometimes think the title of this column should be "How to Bore an Entire Town With Cute Stories of Your Grandchildren" as they have often been the subject of this column. The rest of the time I have sounded off on such weighty subjects as what constitutes "good" or "bad" Christmas decorations, advice on the stock market (don't sell yet), our country goes to war (pray).
When the editor of the Eudora News asked me to contribute a piece to the paper, I had no idea he would be so kind as to let me have this platform to write anything I wanted about any subject I chose -- even cleaning up some of the rough pieces I've thrown at him and the staff minutes before the deadline.
Quite seriously, I feel very fortunate to have been asked to do this and will continue to do so until they/you/the town, etc. has had enough. My attitude can be summed up in the following story.
Recently as I was buying a paper at Byrne's Pharmacy, Stan Byrne asked me, "Don't you get your paper free?" and I replied, "Are you kidding, I should be paying them."
The weather this past weekend was beautiful -- perfect for homecoming, football and EudoraFest. The game went well Friday night, as did homecoming. The queen and king candidates were lovely and ruggedly handsome, and everyone seemed pleased with the choice of Lauren Kracl as queen and Josh Lauer as king.
Speaking of football moments, I'll not forget Tyler Cleveland (playing his first game after being sidelined for a broken collarbone) at the Eudora/Paola game motioning to the crowd with a broad swing of his arm to get fired up.
I don't remember ever seeing a player turn to the crowd for support during a game. It worked, but not in time for the Cardinals to bring home a victory that night. Tyler's gesture reminds us that it is important for community to come out to the games to show positive support for any and all of our various sports events.
A pleasant aside to the homecoming game in addition to all the festivities was reminiscing with Dr. Holladay about previous years walking the sideline at numerous football games. While not a big fan of football, he has been in attendance at all the games for about the past 30 years to be there in case he is needed.
He has certainly become an institution in Eudora not only delivering many of our children but also stitching them up and answering crisis calls in the middle of the night. Thanks, Doctor, for the care, the years and the memories. By the way, great hat.
EudoraFest was fun and a chance to visit with people you don't see very often. The talent show was especially good -- the young people showed promise, and it was fun to once again catch Nell Trefz doing her famous yodeling. She seemed surprised to be onstage again, but I hope this is not her last performance. I heard Tommy Pyle's booth had a great Rueben sandwich, while I opted for a brat, and Julie Byrne was heroic tending the fish pond from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Big family birthday this past Sunday. Grandson Gabe, the middle G-Boy, who really doesn't like to be mentioned here, celebrated his ninth birthday with the third of four parties (yes, four) that will mark his birthday.
As I watched him go through the pleasant ritual of presents and cake, I recalled a dialogue between he and his brother Garrett last year about this time. After an outing with Gramma and Garrett to a movie and lunch, Gabe was a little put out when a trip to cruise the Wal-Mart toy section was not in the plan.
On the way home Gabe remarked, "You know, my life has just been a mess since I turned eight." After a short, quiet pause, Garrett commented from the back seat, "I know, Gabe, being eight was a horrible year for me, too."
May this next year be a good one, Gabe -- the best ever -- Happy Birthday!

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