Winding Roads Blog

February 10, 2010

To hit or not to hit

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 10:29 pm
Tags: ,


I played some kind of organized sport from the age of eight to forty. The last twenty or so of those years I played slow-pitch softball.
I love the feel the bat has when it makes contact with the ball and enjoyed just plain getting out and tossing a softball.
When I played regulary I was just an average player, nothing special, other than I enjoyed playing.
My business ate up my free time when I moved to Carrollton, Georgia. It was just too hard to set aside the time to play ball.
After I had been there for about a year, one of my customers, Jeff, and I were talking and the subject of softball came up.
I told him how much I had missed the game.
A few days later I got a call from Jeff and he said he and some of his friends were putting together a softball team and he wanted to know if I would be interested in playing.
Initially I told him no.
He explained that the team would be in one of the local area softball leagues.
I eventually agreed to play.
Over the next couple of weeks we had several practices. I decided this was something I was comfortable with doing, especially since I had moved to an area where I hardly knew anyone.
As a player I’m most comfortable catching, pitching or playing second base.
As far as hitting, again I’m just average, nothing particularly special.
As I got older, however, I did develop a style of my own and became fairly good as a place hitter.
Most of the time I was pretty consistant putting the ball close to anywhere on the field I wanted it (except over the fence).
Three places I liked to hit were straight up the middle of the field, over first base and pulling the ball down the third base line.
It is hard to defend against those types of hits, especially if it is hit hard.
I had become quite proficient by hanging a car tire from a limb and hitting the ball through it from different positions.
The team I played with in Carrollton was not that good, but I was there to have some fun and at the time that was all that matered.
We were playing in a country league of about six teams, not far from town.
I watched as the opposing team gathered in their dugout and noticed that most of them were big guys. I knew something wasn’t quite right about the team or the league after I arrived at the field.
We played the first game of the night and were on the field first.
I played second base and in short order the other team had scored six runs, with no outs, and I had not even touched a ball.
After 12 runs we finally managed to get three outs. During that inning we had two tags at home plate called safe with the catcher standing there holding the ball long before the runner got to the plate.
Once, on an easy out at first, the umpire called the runner safe before he even got to the plate.
It was frustrating, to say the least.
It was our turn to bat and in quick order it was three up and three down. It seems that their pitcher could throw the ball anywhere and it was a strike.
Batters had no choice but to hit whatever he threw, even if it meant chasing the ball.
They scored 12 more runs in the second inning. Nothing we seemed to do made a differnce.
It might not have been too bad, I guess, but they heckled us as well.
Seems that calling people names and being critical of everything they did, gave them a lot of joy.
They were playing by one set of rules and we were being held accountable to another set of rules … and they had made both sets of rules.
It is frustrating to sit there and watch something when you know it is wrong.
Two batters were up and down in a flash and it was my turn to bat.
The other team had a pitcher that did something I have never seen before.
Instead of pitching the ball and stepping back, which most pitchers do (it gives you a wider range of field to play and gives you more time to react to a line drive coming straight at you), he stepped forward two or three steps and planted both of his feet and stood like a sumu wrestler.
It was intimidating to a batter, especially since this guy was about 6’5.” You could hardly see around him.
I had observed all of this from the sideline and as I stepped into the batter’s box, I decided to take the first pitch.
The pitcher threw the ball in a slow high arch (actually too high) which gave him the time to get set in front of me.
I let the first ball fall and it landed in the middle of the plate.
“Strike,” the umpire said.
I immediately quizzed him about his call, telling him it was not a strike and how could he call such a pitch a strike when it was obviously a ball.
“According to my book, it’s a strike,” he told me.
Again I watched as the ball came in high and dropped this time in front of the plate.
“Strike,” he said again as I heard what sounded like a growl after he spoke.
It was obvious that no matter what the pitcher threw next, according to the umpire’s interpretation, it was going to be a strike.
Strange as it might sound, a high pitched (although illegal) ball was my favorite type to hit. I could actually control the ball better and hit it harder.
I looked out across the field and saw three major holes I could hit into.
I had a fourth chosen as well, the pitcher.
At 25 feet away, a hard hit line drive would be impossible to avoid or stop, other than getting in the way of it.
As I stood outside the batter’s box I weighed my choices. Over first base was my best chance to get on base, I figured at the time.
I could hit a safe line drive or take out the pitcher who I had grown to dislike immensely (as well as the umpire).
A head shot would do it, maybe even in the neck, but a chest shot would do the job as well, I thought.
I stepped into the batter’s box and dug me feet into the ground.
The ball left the pitcher’s hand and I watched as it climbed up into the air.
I readjusted my stance and drew the bat back behind my ear.
The ball fell over the top of its arch and drifted down towards the plate.
I started my swing, never taking my eye off the ball. I kept my arms level and watched as the ball lurched off the bat.
I don’t believe I have ever swung a bat as hard as I did that day.


November 10, 2009

Best place to fish

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 10:38 pm


By Byron Spires

“You’ll catch fish every time you go,” a friend had told me about a special place 15 or so miles below the Lake Talquin dam on the Ochlocknee River.

Turning on the road to Carrabelle just south of Hosford, I told my friend and fishing partner Loyd that we needed to start looking for our next turn-off in about twelve miles.  I had been along the Carrabelle highway many times, but had never taken any of the side roads that lead to the river,

“This is it,” I told Loyd as we went speeding by Chason Cemetery Road. We had been deep in conversation about some political issue and let the turn slip by almost unnoticed. After turning around we were soon traveling along a rutted clay road headed to the river. Like two kids headed to the candy store, both of us were excited about finding this new fishing hole.

It seemed to take forever, but eventually the road ended, opening up into a primitive camping area along a very steep bank by the river. The boat launch was one of those long and treacherous alleys that cut through the bank and ended at a slab of concrete that protruded into the depths of the dark water of the river.

Before launching the boat, we pulled to the high bluff overlooking the river at one end of the camping area. It was early summer and a nice cool breeze was blowing down the river. We both stood in awe of what we saw.

The water had a slight ripple and was a tannic color (reddish brown) and flowed slowly below us. The sight was mesmerizing to old fisherman like Loyd and I.

To a couple of fellows like us who enjoyed the outdoors and fishing this find was like a gold miner finding a gold nugget.

The river beckoned us and said, “you’re gonna catch fish here,” I thought as we prepared the boat to launch, making sure the bait was in place and life jackets were out of storage.

As quickly as we could we had the boat in the water and headed up the river.

Fisherman may say they like being outside, but the truth is, they like being outside and catching fish. In a few minutes we were doing just that, catching fish. It was like being on a great trek into the unknown, every curve of the river brought more places to fish and places I had never seen.

We picked a spot along a cypress ledge and started fishing. I maneuvered the boat with the trolling motor in and out of small coves and inlets along the river. Ahead of us the river forked. On the right the main river with its strong current rushed along a sandy high bank as it made a hard turn south. Its color almost red as it swam past shoals and tapered off into the sandy shallows as the river straightened and combined with its new found partner  

To the left the slower water drifted out of a swamp creek, deep and dark under the Cypress trees that were scattered along its low banks.

A flip of the bait against the trunk of a Cypress tree produced a hand size bream. The fish had a cool feel to it, like it had been in a deep spring well, the next fish felt the same way and so did the next.

The water trickled between the trees and ahead the creek we were following into the swamp became like a canopy road with giant cypress limbs hanging overhead and covering the narrow passageway like an umbrella shielding us from the hot afternoon sun.

I let the boat come to a stop near one of the ancient trees and we sat there for a few minutes. The boat wedged itself against a log and we fished in the place nature had chosen for us. The swamp was filled with the sounds of birds and squirrels scurrying along limbs high above the water.

A dozen or so yards in front of the boat a small alligator surfaced and swam across the creek and disappeared into the tree line. Then a gobbler flew to within 20 or so feet of us and landed on a small island. He started with a chirping sound and then began to gobble; in a minute another turkey answered about 50 yards away.

It wasn’t but a few moments and the trees around us came alive with the beating of the wings as a drove of turkeys flew one by one onto the small island.

As quickly as they arrived they slipped through the swamp walking and picking up acorns that had fallen from the few oaks trees that had made a home on the small island. There pecking along the ground, an occasional chirp was all that we could hear until they disappeared into the swamp.

 The swamp was quiet again with only the sound of the water trickling from a wet weather pond into the small creek. It was time to go I told Loyd as I pushed us away from the stump that had held us in place.

We let the flow of the river take us back to the boat landing. We drifted along soaking up the last remaining rays of the day, just enjoying the sounds and sights of our new found paradise.

I have been back to this spot along the Ochlocknee many times this summer and fall. Each time I have gone I could not help but marvel at the simple beauty of such a pristine place. It is as near to an unspoiled natural place as I have seen in the last 30 years.

Fishing along that river reminds me of a simpler time in my life. The years of growing up fishing and hunting with my father as we too, made those treks into unknown woods, creeks and rivers where I grew to appreciate nature and all of its sounds and wonders.







October 27, 2009

A Halloween Story: lost in Tate’s Hell

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 3:22 pm
“Turn here, right here,” Cratus yelled at his brother Tab.
The Model A truck bucked and lurched as Tab slammed his foot down on the brake pedal.
It took  a few seconds for the truck to come to a complete stop in the sandy two-rut road.
“Turn where?” Tab asked.
It’s behind us now, Cratus said with a slight bit of sarcasm in his voice.
Like brothers do, the two men argued back and forth about the turn as Tab ground the truck into reverse and slowly backed to the turn-off.
The sun was beginning to break through the early morning fog as they made their turn. The turn would carry them into the edge of a swamp as the road, now barely visible, would wander through pine thickets and scrub oaks until it stopped along the high banks of a creek.
Their trek to Womack Creek not far from Carrabelle on the Florida coast had started earlier that morning, way before daylight in Faceville, Georgia.
Cratus, an avid fisherman, had coerced his brother into taking this late Fall fishing trip with promises of catching huge bream and catfish. Enough, he had said, to last all Winter.
The two unloaded the ten-foot wooden boat from the back of the truck and slid it down the hill and into the slowly moving dark water of Womack Creek and loaded it with their fishing gear and headed up river.
A few bends in the river above their launching site in the ebbing waters next to a high bank they dropped anchor.
What they had heard about the waters of Womack Creek turned out to be true.
Soon they were catching just what had been promised by the tall tales the pair had been hearing for the past few years from some of their fishing buddies.
Like the Sirens of a Greek Fable, the ebb and flow of Womack Creek  had the pair in its clutches.
Mid-afternoon came and went with only the slight mention of waiting another hour. A few hours later the brothers were begin to run out of bait.
Those wigglers dug near the cow barn and the Oak worms were soon gone. The reality of a day of feasting on catches of Womack Creek fish were finally coming to a close.
Both men sighed as the boat drifted back to the truck and their day of fishing came to an end.
The sun sat low in the west as they pulled the boat now laden with fish up the bank to the truck.
“We should have already been out of here. You know what they said about being in this swamp at night,” Tab said.
Cratus just rolled his eyes and lurched the boat forward in the back of the truck.
“We’ll be alright, I ain’t never been lost,” he said as the sun went down below the cypress trees and the sounds of the swamp changed.
A hoot owl wailed in the distance as another answered nearby. The woods took on a different look as sun slowly died behind a cloud and darkness crept in.
Tab stepped on the starter and the Model A moaned into life.
Follow our tracks, Cratus said as he motioned Tab back in the direction they had come.
Now totally dark except for the dim lights of the truck, the pair moved slowly along the ruts made from their trip into the swamp.
“You know I don’t think we have seen a soul since we left Hosford,” Tab said.
“You’re right,” Cratus said. This time his voice did not have the sarcasm usually associated with his responses.
For a couple of miles the road was easily followed, but then it disappeared. There were no more ruts to follow and the darkness had engulfed them.
Tab brought the truck to a stop and looked at Cratus.
There was no moon and now the sky was covered in clouds leaving everthing cloaked in complete darkness.
The faint lights of the truck begrudgingly broke through the night as Cratus stepped on the side board of the truck and looked for the ruts of the road.
The clatter of the Model A engine filled the night air and, then, the engine went quite.
“Why did you cut the engine off?” Cratus asked Tab.
“I didn’t,” came the response.  
It was dark, the darkest night either man had seen before. Silence filled the air. Except for the occasional popping sound as the engine cooled, there wasn’t another sound in the woods.
Off to the right of the truck there was a sudden rustling in the scrub oaks.
The noise grew louder and louder as it crept towards the two brothers.
A sigh came from the edge of the woods, and then another followed by another.
“What is it, what is it?” the two men asked in unison.
A strange eerie orange glow fell across the front of the truck. In a few seconds the glow became brighter.
The leaves of the scrub oaks rattled like a hundred rattlesnakes as the orange glow rose above them.
A dozen feet across, the glowing orange ball rose higher and higher as it cleared the trees and drifted overhead.
Neither brother could move. Mesmerized by what they were seeing, they stood there and just watched.
A cool breeze rumbled through the swamp and picked up the glowing ball and pushed it across the clearing in front of the truck. A few moments later it was out of sight behind a tree.
The silloette of the tree a hundred yards away could be seen as the glowing ball grew brighter and brighter. There was a long hissing then a tremendously loud sound, like a clap of thunder, rocked the ground and the two men. As before the glowing ball, there was silence and darkness again. 
Without saying a word, the two men sat down in the truck as Tab stepped on the starter and the engine moaned to a start.
Two hours later they found themselves right back where they had started on the banks of Womack Creek.
“Never been lost, huh,” Tab said to his brother.
They spent the night in the swamp, deciding it would be easier to find their way out in the daylight.
That night would be filled with the sounds of bears and gators and panthers as they took turns sleeping while the other stayed awake to ward off critters.
The next day they found their way back to the main road and then back to civilization.
Starving, they stopped at a country store and bought something to eat.
An old man sitting on a bench at the front of the store spoke to them when they came out.
“You boys look kinda of weary,” he asked the two.
The whole story was then told of their trip and the strange glowing ball and staying awake all night warding off varmints.
The man listened intently to what they had to say, rubbing his chin and occasionally nodding in the affirmative.
After listening to their story, he shook his head from side to side and said, “You boys done what most locals around her wouldn’t do, you spent the night in ‘Tate’s Hell.’”
The brothers looked at each other.
“That glowing ball you’re talking about could have been anything from some of them phosphorus worms or the ghost of ol’s Jeb Hill that went missing down there about 20 years or so ago,” the old man said.
“You fellows are sure lucky to have got out of there. Been a many a one didn’t get so lucky,” he told them.

October 16, 2009

Paranormal or just noise

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 10:34 pm


By Byron Spires
It started out simple enough, just a little investigation into the paranormal.
“Why not,” Bob said to himself as he walked up the steps to the local library about the idea of a mid-term paper on the so-called paranormal phenomenon now sweeping the country.
“The paper would be easy to write for an argumentative piece,” he thought. “Just disprove it in 1,000 words or so and it would be an automatic A.”
“This is almost too easy,” he contemplated, as he sat at his desk and spread the half dozen books out in front of him.
All he needed was four sources to prove his point, six was a little overkill, but he needed to ace the paper he thought, as he started thumbing through the first pages of Cliff Notes on the Paranormal.
A knock came at his door.
“Hey Bob, somebody from the library left this book downstairs for you. They said you might need it,” the voice behind the door said.
It was Jeff, one of Bob’s friends in the dorm.
“Just bring it here,” Bob blurted out.
Jeff took a couple of steps into the room and tossed the book to Bob, who laid it at the back of his desk with no intentions of ever cracking it open.
“Six books are a gracious plenty,” Bob mumbled to himself as he went back to reading the Cliff Notes.
Two hours later, Bob leaned back in his chair and looked at the computer screen in front of him.
“Six sources, 1,000 words and I’ve proved my point,” he gloated as he clicked on the spell check icon.
His mid-term was now history as he made sure it was double-spaced and formatted correctly.
The printer coughed up the appointed four-page document with its perfectly spaced cover page.
Reaching for the paper, Bob inadvertently shifted the books on his desk which sent the book Jeff had brought him careening to the floor.
He picked the book up and laid it back on the desk, where for the first time he noticed the book’s title: “Paranormal: True or False?” by Dr. J. K. Knight.
“Of course it’s false,” Bob muttered, “I just proved it.”
But curiosity got the best of Bob.
More for ratification of his own thoughts than anything else, he justified reading the first few pages.
“Most people don’t believe in any form of paranormal activity,” Bob read. The truth, Dr. Knight insisted, was that paranormal activity is happening all around us; we just don’t have the means in which to understand it.
Dr. Knight had a theory that might help interpret odd and unusual things that happen to people throughout their lives that his book would explain.
Like the hook of a good news story, Bob was caught. Now he had to read further into the book to find out what this so-called theory was about.
To Dr. Knight, those strange feelings people are always having are direct proof that there are paranormal activities all around.
A feeling of pressure on a person’s shoulder or a shiver along their spine, Dr. Knight said, occurred because someone or something was trying to communicate with that person.
“Some of this is just hogwash,” Bob thought as he continued to read Dr. Knight’s book.
It wasn’t until Bob read chapter three that things began to change for him.
Dr. Knight suggested that maybe there was a way in which people could communicate in the paranormal world. But they would have to train themselves to listen, feel, taste, and simply sense these types of communications.
Dr. Knight asked his readers if they had ever been alone in the woods late at night and listened to the sounds of the evening. In those sounds among the crickets and clicking of bats are the sounds of paranormal communications.
“Have you ever, for no reason, been alone in the woods and felt a chill ripple up you spine?” he asked.
Most people run, he continued, when they experience such a phenomenon, but if you wait, he added, you might hear something beyond the regular sounds in the woods.
“I can’t believe I’m still reading this,” Bob said to himself as he turned another page.
Ten minutes turned into an hour as Bob read through the book, not missing a word.
Listening, Dr. Knight explained, was the key to his theory. There are sounds all around and yet we do not hear them, he wrote.
The problem, he insisted, was that people do not listen close enough to the sounds that engulf them.
If you listen to rhythmic sounds, such as fans or compressors running, you can hear the conversations of paranormal activity.
“I’ve read enough,” Bob thought as he closed the book and placed it on his desk.
Bob’s plans had been to meet some of his buddies after finishing his paper, but now he seemed tired and stretched out across his bed to rest a few minutes before heading downstairs.
In a few seconds he had drifted off to sleep thinking about what he had just read.
Thirty minutes later he awoke to the slow droning sound of the ceiling fan above his head.
“Maybe this would be a good opportunity to test out Dr. Knight’s theory,” Bob thought as he lay there watching the fan’s blades make their circular motion.
After a few moments he concluded there were no sounds other than the droning of the fan motor and swishing of the blades coming from the fan.
Then he heard it, a garbled hodge-podge of words mashed together.
“What was that,” he thought as he listened even more intently to the fan above his head.
As he listened he could pick out an occasional word. The sounds were more like a conversation between two people, not someone trying to tell him something.
He continued to listen as more and more words became apparent.
It was a conversation between, not two people, but three or maybe even four people, he thought, as he stared at the overhead fan.
Over the next couple of days Bob would have several other experiences with the sublime sounds that Dr. Knight had written about.
As he took the time to listen, he could hear the faint conversations that were hidden in the world around him.
At first it had been difficult, almost impossible to hear the sounds, but by training his hearing, the sounds became clear.
They were in fact conversations he was hearing, Bob concluded.
There was one lingering question. Whose conversations did he ease drop on?
His answer came in a very unusual way.
Driving the next day, he could hear a conversation going on within the sounds of the road noise his car was making.
“Stop,” a loud voice said.
“I said stop,” the voice repeated itself in a clear and resounding tone.
Bob stopped his car in the middle of the road.
A half-second later a small boy ran out in front of his car with his mother right behind him.
Bob watched in amazement as the mother grabbed the child and ran back to the curb. A near-fatal disaster avoided, he thought, as he started to move forward.
The conversation he was hearing had now manifested into a warning.
Back in his dorm room a few hours later, Bob picked up his mid-term and dropped it in the garbage can by his desk.
Bill, his roommate, had seen him throw away the paper and questioned his reasoning, especially since the paper was due the next day.
“I was wrong about this paranormal stuff.” Bob then explained to Bill what had been happening over the past several days.
He was still unsure where the conversations were coming from, but they were certainly not from this world, he told Bill.
“Oh, and by the way, your sister is going to call you about your parents,” Bob told Bill as he walked out of the room.
Bill’s cell phone rang as he walked down the hall.
“Hi sis, what’s happening,” Bob heard Bill say.
“What title am I going to give my new mid-term,” Bob thought as he turned on his computer.
“That’s a good idea,” Bob said as he typed, “Paranormal: It is a matter of just listening,” over the sound of his hard drive humming.

Was there a connection?

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 10:15 pm


Byron Spires
Several years ago I had a friend that had a pet rat.
Sandra was a member of a group of people I had gotten to know through my association with country and western dancing.
The rat looked like a wharf rat to me. Tail and body, it was about 22 or so inches long.
Sandra was crazy about him and named him Dusseldorf. And I do not know why or where Sandra came up with that name.
Now some people have cute pets and when in a crowd bystanders usually make over their pets.
That wasn’t what happened with Dusseldorf. Most people were repulsed by him and some would even run when they saw him.
Dusseldorf was very smart, by the way. He could roll stuff around on the floor and was bad to drag people’s shoes off to another room if they slipped them off while visiting Sandra.
He also would come to Sandra when she called him.
For some reason, the rat did not like me.
He bowed up when I was around him and would stare at me like I was some personal enemy.
Sandra had gotten him from a local pet shop.
She would sit and pet him like you would a cat or a dog and he seemed to really like it.
Now, personally, I don’t particulary like rats.
I’ve had my share of problems with rats over the years and have made it a point to eradicate them several times.
I’ve owned two stores and had them try and move in with me a couple of times.
If you have ever owned any large building, especially one near a wooded area or food outlet, you will understand what a problem rats can be.
I kept plenty of traps and poison out.
It seemed to me that I would have problems in waves. Sometimes I would go a year and never have an issue with rats and then all of a sudden they’d show up.
I remember one particular time I had set a half dozen or so traps in the warehouse of my store after seeing evidence that I might be experience some rat problems.
I had heard rats liked bacon strips and that is what I used to set the traps with.
Early the next morning I went to the warehouse to check my traps in hopes of having stymied the next rat invasion by getting an early start on catching them.
Three of the traps had some of the largest rats I have ever seen in them.
I disposed of the catch and checked two of the traps and found them empty.
I had put the last trap in a place where I knew rats had congregated in the past.
But, the trap was gone.
I looked everywhere for the trap but it wasn’t in the warehouse.
At the time I had no idea what happened to the trap.
I reset the five traps I had left.
The next morning I went through the same procedure.
Again three traps had rats in them.
It looked like an infestation to me.
The fourth trap was empty and again I could not find the last trap.
This went on until I was down to one trap.
I set it and sure enough the next day it too was gone.
I was really frustrated by this point and decided it was time to get out the big guns.
So I went to the local hardware store and bought several of those great big giant traps and some chain.
I reset the traps and the next morning I went in the warehouse anticipating the mother lode of rats in my traps.
All of the traps had been set off, but there was no rat to be found.
I set them three days in a row and each morning I came to work they were set off and my bait was gone.
The fourth day I set the traps and the next morning they were still set.
I hadn’t won, but my close-eyed nemisises, it appeared, had moved on a bigger and better warehouse.
I was talking to Sandra one day about how she had acquired Dusseldorf.
It turned out she had bought him not long after I had the experience with my warehouse rat.
It was probably just a coincidence except for one thing. I told the story to my friends one day at Sandra’s house that I just wrote about.
Dussledorf was sitting on the arm of Sandra’s chair while I told the story, glaring at me.
When I got ready to leave that night, it took me 30 minutes to find one of my shoes. It had been dragged out of the living room and was partially stuffed under the refrigirator.
Oh well, there is no way it could have been the same rat. 
Or could it? 

Strong opinion and green eggs

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 10:05 pm


I was gnawing on my favorite piece of chicken recently while thumbing through a story and watching Bonanza on TV when I came across an interesting article.
Between Hoss, Ben, Little Joe and Adam’s escapades, and my greasy chicken fingers, I managed to read the bulk of the story.
The writer of the story, it seems, had a strong opinion about his subject.
I must admit that when I read almost anything I scan it first before I commit any  more reading time to it.
That is actually how I started once to read the Bible. It was that “In the beginning” that caught my attention, but when I got to the who begot who, I lost interest.
So back to my chicken-eating story.
I personally like a story or article that has double meanings, those that take you in one direction only to surprise you in the end when nothing turns out like you thought it would.
Which reminds me of a fellow I used to know years ago.
He loved the TV show, “All in the Family.” 
It was the first time, he said, that someone spoke what he thought and held their ground.
“He is my hero,” I often heard him say.
When I asked him why somebody in a sitcom would be a person’s hero he told me, “Everything that man said is exactly what I believe.”
So Archie Bunker isn’t everyone’s hero, but to each his own.
When the fellow found out that Carroll O’Conner was in real life exactly the opposite of his Archie Bunker character it was the first time I saw a grown man cry.
Back to the story. 
So after a couple more chicken parts I saw where this writer was headed.
It was obvious he assumed he was right and anyone who disagreed with him was totally and completely an ignoramus who lacked even a smattering of rationality or levelheadedness concerning the issue.
I began to see the whole story from a different perspective.
It was my opinion that only an elitist, pompous, phrenologist of narrowmindedness would think they have the answers to all of the questions.
Which reminds me of a story a friend of mine told me once.
It seemed there was this hard-nosed banker who never made a mistake.
My friend went into the bank to get change.
The hard-nosed banker happened to be the person that waited on him.
In his gruff and downgrading tone, the banker begrudgingly made the change.
As my friend was walking out the door he counted the money the banker had given him.
There was a mistake in the change-making.
My friend turned around and spoke to the banker: “There is a mistake in the amount of money you gave me.”
Defiantly and belligerently the banker yelled across the bank, “I do not make mistakes.”
My friend walked out of the bank $50 richer.
Oh yea, the story.
By the time I finished reading that story I was furious. I couldn’t help it, I grabbed another piece of chicken and tore into it.
My hands were greasy and Little Joe was in a heck of a mess.
I mean, everybody knows fried eggs are not green, they are yellow, and who cares who this Sam fellow is anyway.

Reading bumper stickers

Filed under: Uncategorized — byronspires @ 9:52 pm


By Byron Spires
I read bumper stickers all the time as I travel and I saw one recently that really caught my attention.
Stuck on the back of a truck with a canoe resting on top, it read, “Paddle faster – I hear banjo music.”
I still get a laugh out of that one.
Another one that I remember from several years ago still gives me a chuckle:
• What am I doing in this hand basket and why is it so hot in here?
When I went to Atlanta  a few years ago I saw this one:
• Cover me, I’m changing lanes.
I really like the more philosophical ones. One I saw recently said: 
• The first rule of holes–if you are in one, stop digging.
Another one on the bumper of a motor home:
• Amateurs built the ark — professionals built the Titanic.
I have actually had to think about this one for a few minutes:
• Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
I love this one:
• Don’t cry because it is over — smile because it happened.
I really think bumper stickers sometimes tell more than we realize. They are really an eye into the world, and how we think, like this one:
• Everyone is entitled to my opinion.
Then there are those that make issues about what is really important:
• A fine is a tax for doing wrong, a tax is a fine for doing well.
Or talk about certain lines of work:
• There are two problems with lawyer jokes. Lawyers don’t think they are funny and nobody else thinks they’re jokes.
And …
• Some talk about life’s choices.
• Only dead fish go with the flow.
Saw this on the back of a trailer  full of copper being  pulled by a pickup:
• Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes.
Here are a few more for your enjoyment:
• Middle age is when it takes longer to rest than it did to get tired
• Life hasn’t been the same since that house fell on my sister
• Is it just me, or is it getting weird in here?
• What if the Hokey Poky is what it’s all about
• Ever stop to think and then forget to start again
• A clear conscience is the sign of a bad memory
• 4 out of 3 people have trouble with fractions.
• If you don’t like the way I drive, get off the sidewalk
One of favorites:
• I want to die like my Grandpa, in his sleep, not like the passengers in his car screaming their heads off.

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