July 24, 2014

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The Rabbi
Strange relationship of our dog and cat Print E-mail

Our cat, Eagle, is black, except for her eyes and Birdie, our dog, is a purebred yellow lab. And they get along, for the most part, quite harmoniously. They show concern and affection for each other with no quarreling over food or space. Eagle appears to be the aggressor in this outward display of affection. Birdie will position herself outside our kitchen window, waiting for a handout from Janice. Eagle will sashay down from our deck and approach Birdie, curling her tail around Birdie’s neck and under Birdie’s nose, just like a woman who wants some loving. Birdie usually ignores these overtures, but I have seen Birdie rubbing noses with Eagle and barking for her to come join her before Birdie turns in for the evening.

The Most Stupid Bet I Ever Made Print E-mail

The reader will need some background to make sense of this bet. When I moved to Pendleton in 1992, I was a decent golfer. Pendleton County Country Club was a nine hole golf course at that time, and I remember shooting par with some staff members from the Central Office. And, shortly after I retired I had a handicap of 7 which means that on average I should shoot a 79 for 18 holes, considered respectable among seniors. But age and an aching back have ballooned my average score to about 90, hard to admit or accept.

The group I play with are oldie-goldies, ranging from age 60 to 86. (We play what is called a “skins” game in

Are Fathers Necessary? Print E-mail

Since I wrote this article a few days past, I have given some more thought to the subject and feel compelled to offer this disclaimer. Many of us oldies grew up with the attitude portrayed in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester Pyrnne was pregnant by the preacher of the village, Dimmesdale. She would not divulge the father of her growing baby and was forced by the village powers to wear the letter “A” emblazoned on her bodice. Scorned by her people, she became stronger and stronger with the “A” becoming a symbol for Able. Meanwhile, Dimmesdale became weaker and weaker as he lived with his unconfessed sin. And he dies, a shell of a man.

Old Men Rounding Third and Sliding Toward Home Print E-mail

This article is about the Park Board golf outing on June 12, 2013. (My apology for the mixed metaphor.)  But if this piece is to make much sense, I need to explain a couple of things about golf in Pendleton County. First, persons with handicaps get no sympathy from those who are well and healthy and strong. Those who are one-legged, crippled, half-blind, recovering from by-pass surgery, or walking with a cane, are expected to compete with teams who have young bucks who can hit the golf ball over 300 yards, persons like Eric Conrad or Joe Jones. I had called John Steele who runs this event and suggested that my team should be allowed to hit from the women’s tees; and I was serious! I finally hanged up….. he wouldn’t stop laughing!

Coping with Change Print E-mail

Janice and I recently attended a 1951 class reunion in Breathitt County. Jean Hundley, a member of this class, had written a piece detailing some of the changes she had seen in her lifetime. Jean, at the time when she wrote this piece, was living in Russellville, Ohio; she has since passed on. I asked permission from her son to publish the following, which I have edited slightly. Older persons, in particular, should enjoy this description of change, particularly Mildred Dickison and her cohort.

“As we stand on the brink of a new millennium with fear and excitement, wondering what the future will unfold, I see how far we’ve traveled. In a span of sixty years, I have witnessed drastic changes in economics, medicine, transportation, communication, fashion, and entertainment. Our young computer experts bite their nails and work frantically, as the year 2000 approaches, hoping to avoid a loss of technology that will plunge us backwards into a world they’ve never seen, but we old-timers remember when a mouse was just an unwelcomed rodent!

How much do dogs understand? Print E-mail

I have written before about our dog, Birdie, and how she stayed with me and licked my face when I fell off a ladder as I was cutting a large limb from a water maple. I severely injured my back, probably a major cause of the problem I suffer from today. When I regained consciousness, she was hovering, trying to revive me. Birdie was agitated and only calmed when Janice appeared on the scene and gave me first aid.

This article is a continuation of the theme of how dogs can sense distress in humans and often come to the rescue.

Grace Guerrant Gabbard Collins, My Mother Print E-mail

(Marvin Sullivan in his recent poignant piece entitled, “Mother,” said he sometimes calls his wife, “Mother” because she is in some ways a Mother to him, particularly after losing his birth Mother at a very early age. This is not meant to diminish Marvin’s explanation, but I have a friend who calls his wife, “Mother.” When I queried him as to why, he said that he forgets names easily and he was afraid he might forget her name; therefore, to be safe, he just calls her “Mother.”)

My Mother lived to be 90 and was laid out at Deaton’s Funeral Home, 15 years ago this past February. Family and friends had been notified of her demise and her extended family gathered in to show their last respects. It was not an unhappy occasion, for Mother had lived a long and rich life and had spent the last five years in Sayre Christian Village / Nursing Home in Lexington.  Even in the Nursing Home she adjusted well and made friends with other patients, some in worse physical shape than she.

Ben Stein's Comments on CBS Sunday Morning Print E-mail

One of the purposes of the Opinion Page is to generate thought and discussion, and with that in mind, the following is offered. A former President of Falmouth Rotary sent me an e mail containing remarks by Ben Stein. Following are some of the more important points:

“I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.”

Those Crazy Christians Print E-mail

I have been reading recently about the feuds in eastern Kentucky, some of them in Breathitt County. I was unaware of the extent of these feuds and the many lives lost and the fear they engendered in the lives of ordinary folk. Fear, hate, and revenge fed the flames that led all the way to Frankfort.

Drugs: Is There Any Hope? Print E-mail

Approximately five years past, I was talking with a government official in Breathitt County, one who was widely respected in Breathitt for his work ethic and who had a vast knowledge of his constituents. He said that during the previous year there had been 96 deaths in Breathitt and 66 of them were drug related.

This past week I was talking to a former government official in Pendleton County who asked me if I thought there was any hope in curbing the widespread use of drugs, legal and/or illegal. “You know,” he said, “I’ve been told that just one shot of heroin can often be all that it takes to become addicted! I’ve never seen our drug problem so bad!”


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