Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby
If you ain't first you're last

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Remember When.....

My memory sometimes plays tricks on my mind. As I age my long term memory seems to grow richer, deeper and more alive; while my short term memory is sometimes almost non existent. This week, I've had a couple of old friends post comments or send me messages and it has seemed to trigger a virtual waterfall of "back in the day" memories....or what I profess to be memory...I've been accused of remembering things that never happened. But more often these days I find myself standing in the middle of Wal-Mart with absolutely no recollection of what Tilena sent me there for. Then I realize I also forgot to bring my phone. Which also reminds me of the point...I can't remember my own phone number. Heck, I often walk into one room from the other only to...ah...ummm...err.. now what was I saying???

But forty years ago, now that's another thing altogether. Some things are so heavy and rich in my mind it almost hurts to dig them up. I have noticed that I can see, hear, feel, taste and even smell the memories through four plus decades of mist and dust. I can still see my Mom's shape standing in the kitchen while I'm outside on a cold winter day at dusk....the window is foggy with condensation and the smell of fried chicken wafts out of the house. I can still hear the sound of the shovel as I clean out those steer stalls and can still feel the heft of a pitchfork handle in my hands. In the spring those same hands would turn green from tending the tomato vines, and I can still smell the acrid scent it left behind. Do you remember the sensation of morning dew on bare feet? How about the smell and silence after a hard rain or the taste of saltwater at Dekle Beach? Even today, I don't know if my ears are ringing or if I'm remembering the sound of Cicadas singing on a hot afternoon. Sometimes if I sit still, the sound of my Dad's footsteps still echo down that dark hallway at night and I can hear those floorboards creak in that one spot. Cold weather makes me think of those frosty mornings when all us kids would fight for space on that cold wood floor in front of our single gas heater...yeah, I can still smell that gas from the old pilot light too. My Mother's voice floating on the breeze calling me to dinner is still fresh in my mind. Nobody ever called my name exactly the same way she did. Any mention of the 70's makes me instantly feel polyester pinching the hair on my legs, the flop of a ponytail down my back, and the roll of "earth shoes" under my feet... Anytime I hear the names Tammy, Billy Joe or Dobie I'm reminded of three lives snuffed out way too early. I can still see each one of them and wonder....

The memories all jumble up in my mind, each with a photograph attached. Some still hurt to look at, but most give off a warm glow and some even evoke a rich belly laugh. Many are likely modified by faulty memory and a young fellow's embellishment, but I wouldn't sell a single one even if it were possible. Some are desperately personal and not another soul will ever know...Sometimes I yearn for someone to share the others with, but unless you were "in the picture" it probably doesn't mean anything to you. We each have that private photo album in our own head. Different sounds, feelings, tastes and sights. Nectar of the mind. I think I'll sit down and flip through a few pages....I think my Mama is calling me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Joe Arpaio where are you?

I think it's high time we had a blog to create some thought, if not downright controversy. Hope you'll all read this thoughtfully and come up with opinions of your own. Please remember to be considerate of others and tolerant of their views. You and I may not share the same view...but you do have the right to be wrong.

Arizona has held sway in the headlines this week. At contention here is immigration, privacy concerns, safety, taxes, healthcare and the always polarizing issue of racial tensions. If you've been living under a blanket this week, Arizona has passed into law a bill which not only allows, but requires Arizona police officers to ascertain the legality of any person's presence within the boundaries of Arizona. Prior to this enactment, police officers there, as in other states were not even allowed to ask a person if they were in the country illegally.

There is no doubting the impact of illegal aliens on our existence. Taxes, unemployment, the health care system, and even crime rate are all impacted in some manner. Drug trafficking and violent crime stats are exploding along the Mexician / US Border. Just to what extent these issues are affected are hotly debated. So we have the question of "What to do?" How about those individuals who have been living in the country for years, if not decades as honorable decent people? Is it the same to be an illegal immigrant from Great Britian, as it would be if you're from Mexico? How about Canadians? Remember the Mariel Boatlift of 1980? As many as 125,000 Cubans fled Castro's Cuba for Florida. That number pales by comparison to the millions upon millions of people streaming across the border into Texas, Arizona and California. But even at 125,000 people, there was no denying the dramatic change upon South Florida's economy, culture and even crime rate. The vast majority of those refugees from Cuba were honest hardworking, salt of the earth people who created opportunities for themselves and others. Some of them are among my very best friends who carry my greatest confidence. They made a positive impact on the area. But with them came a few criminals with a culture of crime Florida was not prepared for. Is this mass exodus from Mexico and all of Central America even comparable to the Mariel event? How about the mass exodous of Northern Europe into the US in the 1800's?

As he looked back over the events of his life, the wise Solomon remarked in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, "There is a time for all things and every purpose under Heaven..." Another wise man who's opinion I greatly value (my Dad) once told me..."Spend your time building bridges instead of fences. But if you find it necessary to build a fence, and you will, build it horse high, pig tight, and bull strong." Somewhere in this collective wisdom I think lies the answer...Pretending there is not a problem is not the answer. We know we have a problem....I'm just not sure we know exactly what the problem is, let alone what the answer may be. Has our world passed the point of open borders? Have we already passed the window of opportunity? Why is no one trying to flee the US?

Personally, I'd rather share a border with Cuba and Mexico than either California or Washington D.C. There is no doubt the ratio of crooks to honest folks is better in Mexico and Cuba than those other two places. To be up front with you, we elect crooks and then hire them lobbyists to help them make crooked ,biased, ill informed decisions.....but I digress.

Well, tell me what you think....we'll wash this pig and then I'll get back to my standard blogging. Every once in a while, I just want to hear what you think.

Please remember to keep it civil...

Don and Company