Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lesson in Life, Chapter 1

As far back as I can't remember people have been giving me advice. The earliest memory is my mother's advice, NO! STOP IT! and HOT! The last was for my benefit, the former for hers.

I don't remember a whole lot of childhood/adult conversations given me directly that made much difference in how I acted, reacted, or behaved, then, or in my future years. I pretty much wing it and give as good as I get.

Here, for your reading pleasure are a few Pieces of Advice, Truisms and Laws of the Universe, that seemed to stick on the wall of my life. These were handed down by real humans, face to face, with whom I associated  in the passing of my last 70 years. Most of these people might be dead, except my Mama, who still says NO! and STOP IT, PAT SHIELDS, age 93.


If I can remember, I will name sources and give credit where credit is due. It'll take me another 70 years to come up with even a portion of the characters I have known, and their sayings.

" First thing is, boys, don't get excited, whatever happens". Shorty was the driller on the gas rig I worked on. He gave this advice every time we went out on the floor for our 12 hour shift...and some fast, heavy action could happen before you could blink and eye on a rig. Shorty took care of his crew, thank the Lord.

"Don't do that, you'll put your eye out!" Monster Mother Mantra...


 "Always PULL a crosscut saw, never PUSH, and stop counting the strokes, you're driving me crazy." W.R. Shields, and we cut a lot of wood in the days before chain saws.

"A mule is the only domesticated animal who will live 30 years just to kick your brains out." Ronny Clatterbuck, farrier.

" Life ain't no ride on no pink duck."  A little girl in a 5th grade class gave this advice upon my breaking a guitar string during a performance at her school.

"Can't never Could", Cobern Kelley, YMCA leader and mentor to thousands of kids for 50 years or so in Athens, Ga.

"Horse, people, makes no difference, they all give to pressure...that's how you train horses and kids...beating never works."  "Miss a step in a horse's, or a child's/ training and will come back to bite you somewhere along the line." Tom Marvel, horse trainer, and father of two National Bronc Riding Champions.

"Let's go do something else, this fence will need fixin' tomorrow, too." Jim Lynch, cowboy.

"Don't need pot, rabbit got he own pot". Aboriginal villager's answer to my asking how are we gonna' cook the rabbit, we ain't got a pot. He deftly cleaned the beast, split it down the middle, layed it furry side down on a bed of coals. We were eating rabbit a few minutes later.

"Ain't no denying that one." Eighty year old "Squire" Hines first remark after seeing my week old daughter Jesslyn for the first time.

"First you do it, then you do it for fun, then you do it seriously, and then you're done."
Ricky Lee Roberts on how to learn a song or tune.

"We are all haves or have nots, whichever you are is how you look at it". Fory Cooper, cowboy, truck diver, bad to drink, and philosopher.

"That man could build an atom bomb out of a pile of rocks by sundown." said of a welder/fabricator in our town.

"NEVER put your head down, or turn your back on a herd of Black Angus. That's the reason you're here, to watch". Doc Tom Fromm, Veterinarian, town character, misunderstood genius, and receiver of not just one, but two broken arms in three days , for not heeding his own advice...and working a herd alone.

"I want my ashes fired out of a cannon in a champagne bottle over the top field of the farm". Gregory Wise...and he was, his son touched the powder off. Class act.

"The Lord made lines for somebody else to stand in, not me." Pat Shields

I'm sure I have hundreds more, but... "Our work is done here, Tonto, Hi Ho Silver, AWAY"! The Lone Ranger.

And that's where I'm headed away to bed. It was tired out there today.

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