2013-09-14 / Viewpoints

Viewpoint

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

In last week’s Endeavor News I saw the note about 61 percent of single people saying that would not ask someone for a date if they knew that person was a smoker.

That got me thinking about all of the old cigarette commercials that used to be on TV. Winston tastes good like a cigarette should, and I’d walk a mile for a Camel. The Marlboro Man was riding high until the lung cancer he got from all of that smoking turned him into a talking skeleton and later planted him six feet under.

Chesterfield had a theme song and I think the lyrics went like this: “Dream when you are feeling blue. Dream, that’s the thing to do. Just watch the smoke rings rise in the air. Dream and they might come true.”

Speaking of dreams, I had some real doozies last night. One was a terrible nightmare about the car crash I was in last year. That was almost my Waterloo. The second dream was about my wife rollerskating all over the neighborhood in her birthday suit, and the last one was about my basic training at Sampson AFB, New York. I marched and sang marching songs the rest of the night.

Some of the words I still remember. As we marched along the drill sergeant would shout out, “Head and eyes up off the ground. Dress to the right and cover down.” Another went like this: “I don’t know but I believe, I’ll be home for Christmas Eve.”

But the one that woke me up was, “I’m engaged to marry Sue. I’m engaged to marry Sue babe. I’m afraid to get undressed, ‘cause Mary is tattooed on my chest. Honey, oh babe, be mine.”

Sometimes I fly airplanes all night and crash into the ocean and then the aircraft becomes a submarine and we chug right along under the water. It’s hell to be old and nuts, too.

As old Father Time takes his toll, memories of old times become golden.

I remember our first snowmobile trip to New York. We had a nice group of people from Emporium and we all stayed at the Snows Inn in Old Forge. Our lunch stop with eight kids was a real adventure. Ken and Joann Gerg had their four kids, and Sonny and Donna Abriatis had their four boys. Besides those 12, there was Carl Kelly and his wife, Dr. Joe Blackburn and Shirley, Dr. Allen Blackburn and Sue and Bo Wright and Marty, with me and my wife Shirley rounding out the crew.

To finish out the day, we would all dine together and most of us would sample Carl Kelly’s Blue Nun Wine. In the bar of the hotel was a gigantic fireplace that took a six foot log.

The lesson here is to cherish those moments of good times with friends and family because as time goes on, memories are about all you will have.

Our President and Congress are between a rock and a hard place on the Syria situation. We are hurting for leadership in this great country. No matter how bad things get, we still have the highest standard of living in the world. Who is going to be the knight in shining armor that is going to save us? I am ready for the job, but my suit of iron is a little rusty.

Every year it seems that fewer people take note of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America. It showed that we are not safe inside our borders any more. When Japan pulled their sneak attack we banded together and protected our interests in a little over three years. Now, we are letting a bunch of extremists tie us up for over ten years. There was a time when the politicians let the military run the war. There was still a lot of fumbling around in the Congress, but they were better leaders and didn’t get bogged down in same-sex marriages and begging money from all of the lobbyists.

Baseball season is winding down and football is in full swing. I liked playing high school football. Our uniforms were not of the highest quality, but we played anyway. I was from the country and did not know much about the right way to play the game. Our coach knew his stuff and after few kicks in the rear I knew what to do.

Fall is coming on fast and I don’t have any leaves to rake here in Arizona, but I have some kind of tree in the front yard that drops a bean pod that is hard to get up. The three maples we had in the front yard in Emporium used to dump tons. I usually mulched them and Ken Gerg put them on his garden. I had to miss the great Emporium Rotary picnic for the first time in 14 years. I have been all over the world and have never attended any type of function that could hold a candle to that picnic

Remember the good times, rake your leaves and find a good storage place so your powder stays dry.

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