I fear that I am becoming an old poop!
I know that I remember the “Great Depression” and maybe that’s what is coloring my outlook. Incidentally, there was nothing that great about the depression! I remember that several of Dad’s old shipmates from World War I would arrive at our door and stay with us for a few days — or weeks — while they looked for work. That was a courtesy extended by some who did have work.
Whatever the reason, I am left with a reluctance to spend a bunch of money for anything except food, clothing or shelter. I do enjoy a bit of comfort or convenience with the necessities, but I think more than a few times before I unload my purse on anything to decorate my home or my yard. After all, the spirit of the holiday lies within, doesn’t it? It goes against the grain for me to empty my purse to buy blow-it-up plastic stuff to celebrate Halloween, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas or Easter. I await with disinterest blow-up hearts for Valentine’s Day.
Ed and I used to share a pumpkin to carve for Halloween. We always preferred a genial grin and then begged a candle stub from Mom so our creation could grin at night as it sat on the window sill — inside! Now, those who use real pumpkins outside are apt to find them smashed on the sidewalk by spoil sports before they get a chance to spread holiday cheer.
We always had a Christmas tree — inside. We were convinced that Santa brought our tree along with the goodies under it. Then we got older and fingered Santa, but even then we were not allowed to decorate the tree until Christmas Eve. I guess the theory was that the magic glow of Christmas stays fresh for the big day that way.
We had hard-boiled eggs to color, decorate and hunt at Easter, and there was a centerpiece on the table filled with jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Once Ed and I each got a chocolate Easter egg with our name on it!
We exchanged Valentines with friends at school, but that was it. Friendship was a bigger deal on May first when we made baskets, and hung the on the doorknobs at our friends’ homes.
Thanksgiving wasn’t such a deal. We had a big dinner every now and then anyway. Except for the year Dad won a turkey raffle and we made a pet of “Obidiah,” we didn’t name our Thanksgiving dinner nor shed a tear when the bird emerged from the oven done to a golden brown.
So, you will find no bits of plastic in my yard or in the house this Halloween. At Christmas you may expect a wreath on the door, but the bulk of my spending money (discretionarry funds, isn’t it?) will be spent to fill boxes under the tree with each box bearing the name of one of my nearest and dearest.
I figure my old poop license must be in the mail.
I fear that I am becoming an old poop!
- Opinion Columns
RONN MOTT: Frustration
For those who know me well, they can say without contradiction I am not a patient man. But in this hustle and bustle world I’ve been a part of all my adult life, I’ve had to learn a little patience. On occasion, however, I find some experiences extremely frustrating.
RONN MOTT: Rabid Republicans
The so-called news people at Fox News can hardly sit still long enough to report on the latest gossip or untruth about our sitting President. They can hardly contain themselves.
LIZ CIANCONE: Smell of fresh air gave way to dryers
Remember when clean clothes smelled like fresh air and sunshine rather than fabric softener and dryer sheets?
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Is it regulation that doesn’t make sense or evening the playing field?
I’m not much of a drinker, so I haven’t spent much time thinking about how Indiana’s alcohol laws personally impact me, but that changed last fall when my daughter got married.
Mark Bennett: High-profile mural connects historical dots from city to river
At 96 feet wide and 2 stories tall, the power, impact and value of the Wabash will be evident.
RONN MOTT: Mushrooms = Hoosier happiness
Someone wrote or said a few years ago a statement that would define the word “Hoosier.” According to this urban legend, a Hoosier is somebody dribbling a basketball around the Indy 500 while eating a fried, morel mushroom. It did not define me, at the time.
RONN MOTT: Israel’s Air Force
Recently the Israeli Air Force bombed and rocketed a convoy leaving Syria going to Lebanon with rockets that were going to be used to attack Israel. It did not get there. It was destroyed.
RONN MOTT: Media merry-go-round
Round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows. That isn’t a unique phrase to this writer or to this era in time. But, when it comes to the musical chairs of broadcasting, it certainly applies.
LIZ CIANCONE: Courts see a different appearance than cops
Have you ever noticed the transformation between the arrest of an accused lawbreaker and the first appearance in court?
MARK BENNETT: Life at face value: Mom’s simple advice still presents a valuable daily challenge
Most moms don’t base their advice on scientific research.
(Unless, of course, your mother is a scientific researcher. If so, carry a No. 2 pencil and take good notes.)
SUSAN DUNCAN: Advice to the kids on Mother’s Day
Just so you know, now settled firmly into middle age, I think of “kids” as anyone in their 30s and younger. I also accept that many of my elders view me as an upstart whippersnapper, though snapping even my fingers nowadays can be a chore.
FLASHPOINT: Again in 2013 General Assembly, middle class generally ignored
Last year, the people of Indiana entrusted the Republican Party with some of their most precious possessions.
RONN MOTT: ‘Raccoons II’
In the Algonquin Indian language, raccoon means “working with hands.” They are really cute little fellows until they injure a child, or a pet, or leave feces around where you certainly do not want it.
RONN MOTT: ‘NRA Convention’
At the recent NRA Convention in Houston, Texas, where the right-wing political hot air almost lifted the convention's building off its foundation, the NRA trotted out the forever yours political dame of the right wing, Sarah Palin. Sarah did not disappoint.
RONN MOTT: ‘Heritage gone’
The last high school I attended was being torn down just a few days ago. I didn't learn about it until I saw classmate Dick Mills on television and a display he had put together about State football championships in the middle 1930's. I began elementary school with Dick Mills. That was Matthew South Elementary School on South Sixth Street in Clinton, Indiana. After seeing Dick on TV, it dawned on me that all schools I had attended in Clinton have been torn down.
LIZ CIANCONE: We always want more than we need
Washington seems more preoccupied with the unemployment rate than they are about the constant stalemate. Still with thousands out of work and the unemployment rate hovering somewhere between 7 percent and 9 percent, it does deserve more than a passing nod.
MARK BENNETT: Should I stay or should I go?
Some have their Bill Clinton-era Cavalier packed (with the trunk bungee-ed shut), apartment cleaned (except for the fridge), and iPhone GPS locked onto the fastest route out of Terre Haute. Others are staying — until they find a better job, or because they’re starting a career here, or because this town feels like home. In each case, a new stage of life begins today.
College Class of '13 gets a little extra advice
Local college grads will hear commencement speakers offer life and career advice this month. We’re offering them an extra dose here from folks who’ve found success in various vocations and regions of the nation. Many have Terre Haute roots.
RONN MOTT: Things that go bump in the night
I live in a very old house. There are all kinds of noises that occur, especially at night, or so it seems. Aside from the various creaks and pops from old wooden floors and walls when the furnace heats up and sends warm air into the rooms, we, my wife and I, have heard other noises.
RONN MOTT: Around the dial
At lunch the other day with Terry Tevlin (First Financial Bank), I bumped into Dale Mahurin. I hadn’t talked to Dale in a long time and inquired about his wife, Julie Henricks.
Julie has returned to the radio microphone doing a weekend gig on Mix FM. For fans of Julie’s show on WTWO-TV, don’t worry, she’s not leaving … just multi-tasking. Welcome back to the radio airwaves, Julie!
ANDREA NEAL: Newspaper journalists still make a difference
A recent survey ranked newspaper reporter as the worst career of 2013, just below meter reader and lumberjack, but you wouldn’t guess it from the stories told by journalists who gathered in Bloomington to see six of their own inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.
RONN MOTT: George Jones
I got to Nashville in the early ’70s, hired by John Patton, who had been a DJ for WBOW earlier in his career. Then, he was managing WMAK in Nashville and I was promised a top sales list and received the yellow pages (many a promise like this has happened to people in this business). I also did sports commentary for the morning man and would ultimately do a season of play-by-play and a short TV schedule for Tennessee State.
LIZ CIANCONE: Old age is in email of the beholder
My Best Friend isn’t much for writing letters, so email has opened a new world for him. He can dash off a few words to a high school friend or his college roommate — now living in Florida and Washington State,
MARK BENNETT: Spirited response to a rising river
The power within the Wabash revealed itself last week.
FLASHPOINT: Time has arrived for overhaul of TV news
Former FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes gave an address in 1992 in which he claimed television news was too superficial and too focused on visuals.
RONN MOTT: Remembering Pat Summerall
I don’t remember how I first became aware of Pat Summerall, but the first time I heard him was on a New York radio station (WCBS, I think). He was doing the sports for the morning man and exchanging some opinions about sports and such with him.
RONN MOTT: What I don’t know
I was watching a segment on the History Channel the other night while I waited for the end of “The Big Bang Theory” and a show I had seen before. It was “Sex in History.” And the two segments I watched were about Ben Franklin and Howard Hughes.
RONN MOTT: You, me, and the Muslim world
I don’t know how to do this. I’m a fairly intelligent human being, but the events of the past week in Boston have turned me emotionally inside out. It’s more than the people who died, it’s more than the people who were injured … some permanently,
LIZ CIANCONE: A memory test from the oldtime radio days
For some reason, I seem to be the go-to source for all sorts of obscure information out at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
MARK BENNETT: Littered with irony: Why do people callously discard their trash, and who are they?
Though they aren’t acknowledged by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are basically two demographic groups of people … Those who would dump their old toilet on the banks of the Wabash River or a rural roadside. And those who wouldn’t.
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