LUNACY – “BIZARRE” August 16, 2015

Things are bizarre these days.   And I’m not totally referring to the first Republican debate.   Although that was bizarre.

Trump DebateI have never witnessed a political debate where nearly every candidate on a full stage engaged in the bold and demonstrative fashions they mostly all did that night.   And I credit Trump, his popularity and his brashness for setting the tone in that arena.

John McCain, Mitt Romney

 

They would have all been typical mush-mouthed and milk-toast politicians like those to whom we are accustomed.   Had the Trumpster not been there!

 

And that’s bizarre!   But here’s what’s really nuts.

For the past few years, I have spent many early evenings at my computer, facing one of the open windows from my old rental house that faces a newer city neighborhood filled with nice homes and many children.   During the summer months in which I do that, one of my greatest joys are Ice Cream Truckwhen the local ice cream truck visits those children and plays it’s sweet music for the youngins.   I’ve come close those times – very close – to putting on my shoes, running through the trees and brush to the sweet treat truck traveling the adjacent neighborhood.

And being a kid again.

Well, okay.   Maybe feeling that way, too, is bizarre.   But I am freaking out these latest summer evenings at my computer and open windows almost as much as I did a few night’s ago, watching the debate.   Why?

Just as I did the past couple of years of summer evenings, this season I have heard the ice cream truck music a few times.   But so far, I have only heard it maybe five or a half-dozen times.   Each time this season, the bizarreness of it all threw me off.

Then, a few nights ago, it all became as clear as bizarre moments seldom but can become.   Maybe the ice cream truck guy has been doing during these latest summer months what Trump has been doing the past few weeks and during the debate.   Maybe all the truck guy is doing is setting a tone in which we all can engage in ways the other candidates did on debate night.   Maybe he is raising the bar or, at least, moving it.

Until the night of he debate, the ice cream guy’s behavior confused me.   But I am thinking now that, just as Donald Trump did when he became the only candidate to raise his hand and refuse a pledge to ultimately support his very own political party, so, too, (maybe) is the ice cream truck guy taking a bold stance.

I think I am right.   I hope I am.   Because I have no other reasonable explanation.   Just like the bizarre impact of Trump’s debate presence, I have no explanation as to why – exactly why – the five or half-dozen times I have heard that truck this summer, the ice cream guy played… well… what he did.

SilentNight

 

This summer, I have heard he and his truck play nothing but Christmas music!   Christmas music!   One time, I think I heard his ice cream truck bell music play “Silent Night.”

rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer1

 

 

All the other times the song I heard was “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer!”

 

Just as with Trump, I have no exact idea what the ice cream guy is really thinking.   But damn.   I love the boldness and brashness and avant-garde methods being used by them both!

Bizarre or not!

LUNACY – “THE SMART ONE” June 15, 2015

635699625419505097-Jeb-Bush-logo

Look, this year’s Fathers Day is happening at a time that is way too close to next year’s elections.   So, it just seems appropriate that I comment on fathers, sons and politics.

Think what you will about the Bushes.   I don’t care.   I’m not here to argue such nonsense.   But think about this.

jeb, george george

 

Just one week before Fathers’ Day, a presidential candidate and the SON and BROTHER of two former United States presidents, dropped his last name when he entered the race?

 

I get it.   The two former Bush presidents aren’t really held in any real positive light by the media or Democrats or others.   But what does Jeb’s campaign logo say about his principals?

Former President George Bush, right, clenches his fist Sept.16, 1994 as he hugs son, Jeb during a Florida GOP fund-raiser in Tampa. After a hiatus, Bush has been hitting the campaign trail and lecture circuit with a vengence, raising millions for Republican candidates and getting digs in at President Bill Clinton along the way. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

 

For the love of God, the kid’s father was a VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENT of The United States!   And he chose to drop his daddy’s last name just a week before Father’s Day?

 

 

Well, I think that move will kill his chances of winning the nomination or the presidency.   That is, unless he uses as his campaign slogan what I think his dad was quoted as saying years ago.   Or maybe it was his mom or brother, the other former president from the clan.   Whoever said it should be praised for coming up with the slogan that could win the election for young Jeb.

The quote?   My proposed slogan?

“Jeb’s the smart one.”

jeb smart one

If he uses that quote, then, hell yeah I will vote for him

 

Hillary 2

 

Look, though, I am all about equal time and fairness when it comes to politics.   I just read on the internet that Hillary Clinton is urging a “new era of shared American prosperity.”

 

 

hillary foundationMan, she’s my gal!   And I tell you what, if y’all can tell me how to reach her to ask for a handout or even for just a personal loan or at least share with me the debit card password from her multi-billion-dollar Clinton Foundation bank account, well…

 

Hell yeah!   I will vote for her, too!

hillary 1

LUNACY – “SO LONG, SUCKERS” June 8, 2015

Look, I tried my damnedest to come up with the perfect letter of resignation before I left my job of the past two years.   I really did.   I even researched this stuff.

Unfortunately, I think my research may have – just may have – led me down the wrong road.   My most fruitful research took me only to quotes of Fielding Mellish, the Woody Allen character in his 1971 move, “Bananas.”

Woody Allen Bananas 3

 

“I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in braille.   I used to rub the dirty parts.”

 

Woody Allen Bananas 2

 

“I’m not suited to this job.   Where do I come off testing products?   Machines hate me.   I should be working at a job that I have some kinda aptitude for, like donating sperm to an artificial insemination lab.”

woody allen esposito

 

Esposito, a character from “Bananas” said, “You have a chance to die for freedom.”

Fielding Mellish responded, “Yes, well, freedom is wonderful.   On the other hand, if you’re dead, it’s a tremendous drawback to your sex life.”

Then I found it.   The perfect words.   From Woody Allen and that movie.   And I used my company authorized marker to write those words on my company authorized notepad.

The words were simple and straight forward.

“So long, suckers”

LUNACY – “GOD I HATE MY LIFE” May 18, 2015

orthepedic nurses shoesLook, Mama had a good heart.    And she taught me some good stuff.    But she also had a balance about her.

“God, I hate my life.”

My mother passed along that notion to me when I was just a child.   The recurring line delivered by George Segal or Jack Lemmon or someone in some movie from the ’60’s, I think, cemented that belief in myself.

“God I hate my life,” I repeated from the actor’s role many times as an adult.   I even started, at around the age of 30, the “God I Hate My Life Club.”   Years ago, I was given by a friend a t-shirt onto which that quote is printed!

I think I have overcome the self-hatred.   Nevertheless, I love the laughs I still get from folks when I say those words.   They’re funny!   And, come on.   Mama deserved the right to hate her life – especially on special occasions like Mother’s Day.

Those were the days when Mama, a woman from a proper southern upbringing, expected absolute respect and lavish gifts to honor her devotion to family and to her undivided and proper commitment to the family she led.

Look, her kids had no money.   On Mama’s special occasions, the best we could do was draw a picture or cut off an azalea bloom from a neighbor’s bush or give something even less to the woman.   She always smiled and seemed to appreciate our efforts, but what really caused my mom to hate her life were the efforts by her husband on such days.

I really don’t know where the man’s thought processes originated on those occasions.   But he was kind of a simple man.   My guess is that he actually believed he was honoring his wife with the gifts the only money-maker in our household could afford to buy.

You be the judge here.   If you were a woman celebrating your birthday, would you appreciate your husband giving you a spatula?   Or if you were a mother on Mother’s Day, how excited would you be to receive from the man you married an umbrella?   Ah, imagine the romance you would feel when, on your special day, your husband gives you a 5-gallon jug of Jean Nate Toilet Water purchased at the discount drug store, Pic-N-Save.

But I think I recall correctly when I say the final blow for Mama came around the same time I watched for the first time that “God, I hate my life” movie.   Whatever occasion that was, it was the one where her loving husband gave her a pair of orthopedic nurse’s shoes.

Maybe I am wrong about Mama hating her life.   But if she didn’t, well – the damned orthopedic shoes should have given her ample reason to do so at that moment!

LUNACY – “BLADES, MIMOSAS AND HER” March 28, 2015

razor bladeMy only brother is eight or nine years older than I am.   Naturally, until he left home for college, he and I were not very close at all.   Before he left, he teased me.   He bullied me.   He came damned close to cutting off my fingers with a razor blade after I touched MIMOSA_HOSTILISwhat he called a poisonous bloom from a mimosa tree in our grandparent’s front yard one time.   Our parents and grandparents were away at the time.   He was in charge of my care that afternoon.   The damned blade was a millimeter away from my fingers when my mom came in to save me.

Those times were natural ones.   He would have never followed through that day.   He was the oldest.   I was the youngest.   And our ages are almost a decade apart.

To his credit, he and the college buddies he brought home during holidays included me in their times together at our home in Jacksonville, Florida.   I admired him for eventually acknowledging me in that way.   And the attention his buddies threw my way, placed my brother in an entirely new light back then.   Admiration for my brother at that time is a really weak description of how I really felt about him.

Later in our lives together, we became best friends.   Then we kind of grew apart.   I love the man.   I always will.   And he loves me.   But things happen.   We both get that.

 

Two of the folks in our family – the ones who kept us all together in very real ways – are gone now.   Our dad died in1992.   Our mom died in 2011.

 

 

So now, besides me, there are only two left in my immediate family.

There is the lovable but razor blade wielding brother.

And then, there is Marilyn.

marilyn young

She is the “middle child.”   Her age and mine are separated by only two years.   We were, for the most part while growing up, inseparable.

horse stickWe each had the sibling jealousy stuff going on back then.   She is a wonderful artist.   Always has been.   That’s why she always insisted on “drawing contests” between the two of us.   Her drawings of horses during those contests would show heaving breasts, flowing manes, and perfectly shadowed bulging leg muscles.   Mine were like stick horses with four perfectly straight stick legs.    Those times I had to listen to her cynical laughs about my feeble attempts at art, I prayed that my brother would show up and use a razor blade to simply end my misery!   Cut her or me.   At the time, the choice really didn’t matter to me.

jeopardy gameThen, there was the “Home Edition” of the “Jeopardy Game.”   Like my brother, Marilyn is very smart.   I like to believe that I am as well.   My grades in school always seemed to indicate my brilliance.   I am, well, maybe just more patient and analytical than my two older siblings.   But each time a new answer appeared on the home edition, by the time I could jeopardy from clickersread and analyze, my annoying sister would shove that frog-clicker thing in front of my eyes and obnoxiously click the damned thing.   Look, I don’t know from where exactly I got my short fuse, but those Jeopardy games, as well as Monopoly boards from time to time, ended up being slammed against the nearest wall by the disturbed youngest brother in the room.

All of that was so long ago.   And it all brings laughs to my heart these days.   I hope it does to Marilyn’s as well.   She deserves some laughs and smiles.

Of the most endearing qualities of our parents, none of their children exhibits them as does Marilyn.   My brother has the humor of our dad and the generosity of my mom and dad.   I don’t know what the hell I have.   When I was young, I think I identified more with my mom.   As an adult, and today, I think it’s my dad I am most like.

But Marilyn is different.   She has the best of both.   She has stamina, like Mama.   Like Mama, that woman is not afraid to drive herself to unbearable levels to make life better for the others she loves.   She did that for our dad for several years before he died.   She did that for our mom for almost twenty years after Daddy died.   She has done that for every animal and insect that has crossed her path since well before she found our very first stray kitten.   I think my sister was only 10 years old at the time when felines entered our lives and took some sort of precedence over arthropods.

I guess it’s her ultimate fearlessness that differentiates her from her siblings.   She is not afraid to look folks in the eye with the same common sense look I saw for years from Daddy – at absurd times and others – and to just lay down the law with those she is with.   Even when she opts for Mama’s silence those times, her Daddy-eyes are clear.   You can see her Mama-heart working within her.   But her eyes get the necessary results.   And the law in the room is set.

She has a level of humor for which our dad was grateful.   She doesn’t command a room like Daddy always did or like his oldest son can still do.   But her engagement with humor in the room, the one or few word quips that bring laughs and defensive smiles of pleasure to every family member to which her quips are directed, well – they brought laughs even to the man whose main focus were the laughs that he created.   And when Daddy created them in a room where Marilyn was present, and after he delivered the punch lines those times, he most always looked to my sister for her endorsement and acceptance.   Her quick and genuine laughter at such stupid and silly times authenticated for our dad his own comedic talent.

I have seen my dad’s incredible desire to make Marilyn laugh those times he performed for her.   I have witnessed the same desire from my brother.   I have felt and relived to some lesser degree, because of my inferior level of humor, that same desire when I resort to stupid and silly attempts to capture that single most wonderful audience member.   She never let down any of us on our stages .

My dad would often bend the truth just to get a few laughs.   My brother has always done and still does the same.   And as hard as I try to convince folks I know and love of my ultimate commitment to honesty, in a heart beat I will harshly fabricate the most simple and honest and obvious moments – just to get a few smiles.   And Marilyn’s genuine laugh.

I guess the humor difference between my sister and her two male siblings and dad comes from our mom.   My mom had problems.   But she had heart.   Maybe Mama’s problems came from too much heart felt stuff.   I guess too much of Mama’s heart often causes problems for both my siblings and for me.   But there is no doubt in my mind.   It’s Mama’s heart that makes Marilyn’s humor and laughter so damned genuine.   And Marilyn’s love of humor makes us all want more time with her.

Just like our mom did most of the time, my sister makes everyone with whom she comes in contact feel special in some way.   I have known other people like that.   But none of those I know bring so easily such genuine feelings our ways.

Look, I know this is beginning to sound like an obituary.   And, while my sister is old as hell, she ain’t dead, yet.   But she did just turn 63 years old.   On this day, March 28!

This is to the person who has kept our family together all of these decades.

I cherish you, Marilyn.   Well except for those times when you give me that common sense “Daddy look!”

That’s as annoying as mimosas and razors!

LUNACY – “RACE RELATIONS” March 23, 2015

lunacynotag

 

No disrespect intended here, but I really am a firm believer in promoting race relations.

 

 

For example, I’d really love to meet one day Brad Daugherty, a black guy who owns a NASCAR team.   Or any of his drivers.   Okay – I don’t want to Brad-Daughertymeet Brad Daugherty because he’s black or a NASCAR owner.   I want to meet Brad because he was so important to my University of North Carolina basketball team years ago.   Nevertheless.

jr daytona

 

Of course, my dream is to one day meet at least ONE Earnhardt, preferably Dale, Jr.   Or – Rick Hendrick, Junior’s boss-man!   Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon can go to hell.   But, Kasey Kaine?   That’s a race relation I can handle.

 

Or Brad Keselowski or Kevin Harvick.   Or either of the Busch brothers, no matter how crippled or imprisoned are either of them.

Kyle_Larson_Road_America_2013And just to prove that I am over my old southern notions of traditional thoughts and beliefs and over only showing reverence to the established racin’ guys, I’d really love to meet Kyle Larson.   That kid is something!

Look, I am an old white guy who is trying to be funny here.   But I really hate the term, “race relations.”   Unless we are talking NASCAR.

A much better term in every other sense?

It’s very simple.

“Human relations.”

LUNACY – “THE HONESTY OF LIES” March 11, 2015

Boater HatI’ve always tried to be honest.   I think most of us have.   But from time to time, we have all sort of “stretched the truth” to promote family harmony, to get out of speeding tickets and to advance career objectives.

I used to long for the days when I would become older – even older than I am right now.   Those would be days when, as an old man, I could speak the truth and say whatever the hell I wanted to say.   If folks were to become offended, my excuse would be that I am an old man!

I have discovered, however, mostly through some spiritual things that, for the most part, came about while writing The Lunar Report, there is no greater freedom found than the one created by being totally honest every moment.   Even at my age now.

Now, there are exceptions to that rule.   We have folks like my granddad, Papa Moon, and his son, my dad, to blame for those exceptions.   When it comes to humor, tear-generating laughs kind of humor, there are no rules of morality.   Truth.   Lies.    None of that matters.   As long as laughs and smiles are produced.

Papa Moon was a very wealthy man – for a while.   The Great Depression solved that problem.   And he faced his great fall, for as long as he could, with lies and humor.   The man’s roots were in a Quaker community called Snow Camp, North Carolina.   He made his riches in the nearby town of Graham.

I didn’t know the man that well.    He died when I was very young.   So I don’t know for sure if his lies were intended to bring laughs or if they were symptoms of deeper things that haunted the man.   But I do know the laughs his antics caused are burnished into the the minds of each of his family members.

The man was as southern a man as you could have ever known.   He wore sear-sucker suits andBoater Hat a hard straw, flat-rimmed boater hat those times he treasured most – those times he would visit the boardwalk at Carolina Beach, near Wilmington.   Those times, he would take whatever money he had and turn it into a roll of one-dollar bills.   Well, he would hang on to one twenty-dollar bill to wrap outside the roll of ones.   That roll became the performer’s prop.

carolina beach

 

Papa Moon was never afraid to meet a stranger.   He loved it, actually.   His goal on the boardwalk was to meet new folks.   And to show each of them that money roll.   And to tell each of them, in his southern, Snow Camp and Graham accent, that he was a wealthy attorney from New York City.

Now I don’t know if Papa Moon’s boardwalk strangers believed the man or understood the humor, but I know damned well that all the money that man failed to leave his family when he died is nothing at all compared to the decades of laughs he left for each of us.   Even if he lied to leave that to us.

I knew my dad, Joe, much better than I knew his.   He wasn’t afraid to be honest.   When I was a teenager, my dad would say to me often, “Cut your damned hair! It looks like hell!”   And just like his dad, he wasn’t afraid to lie.

grahamAt his 50th high school reunion back in Graham, he was the emcee. At first, the man was honest that night. The first words he said to the audience after reaching the podium were, “Damn! Y’all are old!” Then came the lies.

“It’s hell getting old,” he told his classmates.   “Every night, I find it hard to sleep. I keep waking up to go to the bathroom.   And I stand there for what seems like hours, trying to relieve myself.   And nothing happens.   The other night, I woke up having to go really bad.   I went to the toilet, stood there, and again, nothing happened.   So, I decided to talk to it.   I thought maybe that would help.   ‘Come on, baby, you can do this,’ I said.   ‘You can do this. Just let it fly.’   About that time, my wife, Marie, yelled from the bedroom, ‘Who the hell are you talking to?’   ‘No one YOU’D remember,’ I yelled back.”

You know, as honest and open I have become during my early older days lately, I cannot help but lie like the two of those men.   And, unlike probably both Papa Moon and Joe, I am not quite sure why folks laugh at my lies these days.   Maybe they feel sorry for me.   Maybe when they see my eyes and smiles during the aftermath of my lies, they feel obliged to laugh and join in.   Nevertheless.

Smiles and laughter and engaging eyes are the most honest results of all measurable emotions.

Even when they are created by total untruths.

LUNACY – “HUMS AND WHISTLES” February 24, 2015

lunacynotagDamn it!

I wish like hell that I could hum and whistle like she did during such despicable times.   As if all was right with the world.

All I wanted to do tonight was to write.   But in between words and sentences and paragraphs, I did my best to wash dishes.

I know what you are thinking.   “How dare you complain about such common and simple hygienic necessities?”

Look, even when I had an automatic dishwasher, I hated loading the damned thing.   And I always delayed doing that.   Until I had more filthy dishes than the washer could hold.   And the filth was always such that only half of the dishes came clean in that appliance.

Well, I have no automatic dishwasher these days.   And as I took breaks tonight from writing to clean old and dry macaroni from pots and bowls tonight, I scrubbed until I could scrub no more, then threw across the room the pots and bowls.   The motive behind my angry outbursts?   If I break the damned things, I don’t have to wash them!

Okay.   Okay.   I do have a double stainless steel sink with hot as hell water accessible to each.   And I can plug the drains in both.   So it’s much easier than the hummer and whistler had things in her day.

She had only one sink, I think.   She always used the largest pot she owned.   It held, I think, just a couple of quarts of dishwater.   She washed each and every dirty dish and utensil recently used in that small pot.   And she hummed and whistled Baptist hymns every moment that she did what I despise.

As I labored tonight over my few unbroken dirty dishes, I thought of that dear woman.   Nanny.   My grandmother.   When those thoughts came about, I stopped throwing things.   And, instead, I smiled at the memory and at Nanny.

Then I thought of her husband.   Grandaddy.   I never saw that man wash a dish in his life.   That kind of made me angry all over again.

Look, I can write no more right now.   The dishes I still have are clean now.   But the ones that are not, well – I need to sweep the shards of those from my kitchen floor!

But, rest assured, I will hum and whistle as I sweep.

LUNACY – “GARTH AND ZACH” January 30, 2015

Garth.   He was the most unbelievable eight-year-old basketball player I have ever known.

Recently, I have been able to watch my seven-year-old grandson play youth ball.   With every move that kid makes, with every shot he takes, with every incredible decision that kid makes on the court, I say to myself the same thing.

“Damn.   My grandson IS Garth!   Without the attitude!”

Back in 1991, my cousin, Mona, my six-year-old son and I coached a group of eight and nine year olds in The Chapel Hill Parks And Recreation League in the North Carolina town where we lived.   We had some pretty good young players on that team.   But there was none better in the league than Garth.

This is Garth today.   He's the wild man on the right.

This is Garth today. He’s the wild man on the right.

That kid was wild.   Wherever the ball was, he was there.   If the other team had the ball, the kid stole it.   If we needed a basket, the kid found a way to score it.   And as hard as I tried as a coach to get the other kids involved, when the ball was in play, it was damned hard to discourage Garth from doing whatever the hell he wanted to do.

As his coach back then, I could only shake my head, smile and enjoy the moment.   My memories right now bring to me smiles as unbelievable as Garth’s play as an eight-year-old.

Toward the end of one particular game, Garth had just scored the go ahead basket with mere seconds remaining in the game.   A timeout was called.   Once the ball was put in play, I wanted our team to commit no fouls.   I told the kids that during the timeout.   And I wanted the other team to use up some clock while trying to score.   So I instructed my team to play a tight zone defense – no pressure on the ball at all.   We had the lead after all.   As soon as the ball was put into play, “Wild Man” broke towards the in-bound pass, stole it and scored on a breakaway layup to seal the win for our team.

Well, I had to be firm and discipline Garth in the most harsh way possible.   When he came to the sideline after the win, I bent down to his level and said, “Garth, man, you did exactly the opposite of what I told you to do.”   He just looked at me, shook his head at my admonishment of him, and smiled.   All I could say was, and with a greater smile than Garth’s, “Thanks, man.   For not listening to me.”

That's Zach on the right.    He's grown now, too.

That’s Zach on the right. He’s grown now, too.

A couple of years after that, I had the opportunity to meet and coach Zach.   Except for the level of talent Zach possessed, that kid was the anti-Garth.   As it turns out, Zach is a much better baseball player than he ever was a basketball player.   But that kid was as talented as any kid I ever coached on the court.   He was, to me, as joyful an addition to my to life as was Garth.   He was just a good kid.   Polite and honest.   A team player.   And very good.

At some point, a couple of years after I first coached Garth, the two of them ended up together on a Chapel Hill Summer League team that I coached.   Man.   I was thrilled about that.   Garth and Zach on the same team!   There was no way I could screw this up!

Well, I found a way.   Sort of.

Again, I found myself coaching a tight battle late in a game.   Late time outs were being called.   There was confusion on the court and the on the sidelines.   There was much confusion in my own mind.   I instructed our team to do the exact opposite of what needed to be done at the time, and no one – not even Garth – questioned it.   I screwed up big time.   I was totally wrong about every aspect of the late game situation.   It was a brain malfunction only acceptable to folks who are the age I am right now.

We lost the game.   It was due to that simple moment of premature senility that night.

I knew how hard my team had fought that night.   I hated that I let them down.   At the next practice, I wanted to ease whatever doubts my team had about their play that night.

At the end of that practice, I called them all to a huddle for me to explain things.

“Look,” I said.   “I screwed up last game.   I am so proud of you all for fighting the way that you did, but that loss was all my fault.   And I am sorry that I let you guys down.”

At that point, Garth had the most angry look on his face.   He broke the huddle, punched me squarely in the stomach and before storming off the court said, “Thanks a lot, Coach!”   Hey, the kid gave me what I deserved and even something I did not – the kid made me smile at my expected Garth reaction.

But the kicker – the real deal – came from Zach.   After Garth stormed away, and while the others on the team stood in silent amazement, Zach approached me.   He gently rubbed the spot that Garth had just punched, and he said to me so simply, so sweetly and with such honesty and heart, “That’s okay, Coach.”

Just as does Garth provide for me these days, so too does Zach bring such a warm and comfortable smile to my face.   And when I see my young grandson play ball, I see in him both of my long-time young friends.

That kid has the skills and the passion of Garth, the steady talent and heart of Zach, and the endearing attitude that is only his.475619_1974774386308_1204102705_o

I cannot predict where my grandson will end up.   But if that kid can somehow nurture the best of both Garth and Zach – the best of what I see in and know of him already… well…the kid will become one of the best basketball players ever.

But, for the love of God, don’t anyone ever let me coach that kid in a game!

LUNACY – “COUPLE OF GUYS” December 8, 2014

There are a couple of guys I know.

One guy is, like me, older.   The other is very young.   I met the older guy when I was attending The University of North Carolina.   I met the younger one recently on Facebook after my son told me about the kid and of his YouTube antics.   Like I was at one time years ago, he is also a student at UNC.

Both have charisma gushing from their smiles and eyes and into the hearts of all of us who just need a little genuine humor from time to time.

I met Durwood Fincher in the early 1970s.   He is a former high school teacher of one of my college roommates from Georgia.   He’s a great guy.   And a double talker.

The man is the most gracious host I have ever known.   My college roommate, several other friends and I visited Atlanta one time when we were in college.   Durwood welcomed us into his home that weekend.   The man kept us in stitches.

On that visit and as we were driving through downtown Atlanta late in the night, we stopped for gas at a station that had no self-service pumps just yet.   Once at the pump, Durwood jumped from the car and told us he would handle the situation.   “Watch this,” he said.

That man proceeded to do to the young kid who serviced the car’s tank that night what he had done to all of us all weekend.   He gave the kid “Durwood Double Talk!”   That poor kid.   Durwood was very serious in his delivery, but the sequence and sounds of the words made no sense to the gas station kid.   The kid’s eyes looked at each of us, begging for help and understanding.   We all understood what the kid was going through, and we laughed uncontrollably but with empathy for the young guy.

It was good stuff.   Just as good as Durwood’s appearance on The Tonight Show way back when to promote his answer to The Pet Rock – “Furwood Dencher’s Toe Floss.”

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It was as good as his more recent appearances on cable news broadcasts and at company events where he showed and shows all of America his “double talk” ability.   And it’s still as vivid in my mind as any humor I have ever encountered.

caleb 1The very same genuineness that Durwood exhibits through his generous humor can be found in my new and young friend – Caleb Pressley.   The kid was a quarterback on The University Of North Carolina football team for a few years.   He left the team, traveled and discovered his heart and some true and real passions.   Then he returned to the team he loves to become the self-declared “Supervisor Of Morale.”   Just like Durwood, he is lovable and funny as hell.   But unlike most of us, Caleb is willing to let his guard down from time to time.   He is not at all afraid of admitting his weak moments.   He is not at all afraid of expressing his true heart.   And he damned sure isn’t afraid of doing what he can to share the joy of his humor and kindness.

Here are a couple of links you need to check out and share.   One is a link to my old friend’s website.   The other is to my new friend’s.   If you like what you see, please share it with others and get in touch with these guys.

There are so many of us who desperately need simple and genuine humor and friendly and engaging faces.   Durwood and Caleb are the best of what we need.

Durwood’s Site

Caleb’s Site