Life Is About Something To Do

Funny. I haven't been on a plane all year. I was on about, oh, 30, last year.

Funny. I haven’t been on a plane all year. I was on about, oh, 30, last year.

[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]Clinton, S.C., Tuesday, September 3, 2013, 1:39 p.m.

It must get old reading my musings … about me. I try to write my own experiences in a way that applies to others, but there’s some rationalization in that.

I write one of these blogs most every day, and I write what occurs to me. I figure if it’s interesting to me, there must be others out there interested, too. I used to work at a newspaper that had a slogan festooned across the newsroom wall: “Think Like a Reader.” I’ve evolved into someone who hopes there are significant numbers out there who think the way I do, or can at least relate to it.

A guitar's not for everybody, but it works for me. (John Clark photo)

A guitar’s not for everybody, but it works for me. (John Clark photo)

The more I think about it, the motivating factor in life for many, perhaps almost all, is relieving boredom. So many of our projects are based on an innate yearning to find something to do. It’s why a man or woman teaches himself to play guitar in his 40s. It’s why he decides he’s going to write novels and songs. Or paint. Or read. Everyone has a thirst for knowledge. It’s not always high-minded. One may yearn to read all the classics that slipped through the cracks of his formal education. Another may yearn to commit a crime and get away with it. One may want to find a cure for a dread disease. Another may take pride in being able to determine the age of a horse by evaluating the extent of its tooth decay.

My daddy could do that. He could make pork sausage, squeeze it into skins and hang it up to be cured. He could auctioneer. He was a man easy to love for almost everyone who wasn’t in his family. We loved him, too, but it wasn’t easy.

Now, 20 years after his death, I realize that I’m dichotomous to my father. In a wide variety of areas, I’m either just like him or dead opposite. It’s as if I grew through him straight up the middle. He probably would’ve hated I’m a writer and loved what I write. He’d enjoy my stories more when I’d tell them because he wouldn’t take the time to read them and because he could tell a story and would be happy that he’d passed it along. I seldom pleased him when he was alive, so I’d like to think somehow he’s pleased with me now, wherever be the location of his Great Beyond.

I do think my old man and I are at peace, a peace made easier by his presence in the spirit – mine, his, whatever – and not the body. The memories are mostly pleasant, as memories tend to become over time.

2:28 p.m.

The Boston Red Sox are now 5-1/2 games ahead (of the Tampa Bay Rays) with 24 games to play. This edge seems more secure to those who are not fans of the Red Sox. Uneasy lies the head under a Fenway crown.

It’s more important to win a division now that there are two wild-card teams in each league that open the playoffs with single-elimination games. Anything can happen in one game, as Atlanta Braves fans are painfully aware.

Braves fans are thankfully aware that it’s not going to happen this year. The pennant races left are hot in the American League West and the National League Central and tepid in the AL East, where the Red Sox, Rays, Orioles and Yankees reside.

2:35 p.m.

When I was in the second grade, we had a kid named Dave Owens, and I have no idea whatever happened to him. He just disappeared a year or so later, and I don’t know whether he moved, transferred to another school, or what. He was far from the sharpest tack on the bulletin board and was painfully quiet. No one seemed to talk to him, and part of it was because he never talked to anyone else.

During a spelling lesson, the teacher asked everyone in turn to spell a word. When it was Dave’s turn, the word was “farm.” He thought, waited and said, finally, “E-I-E-I-O,” which produced what was likely the loudest spontaneous roar of that school year at Hampton Avenue School.

Now it’s a Geico commercial.

2:42 p.m.

I’d like to see the Carolina Panthers do well this year, even though I have no great intuition that it will happen. I hope they prosper because I happen to like the head coach, Ron Rivera.

In each of my final two years at the Gaston Gazette, I wrote columns at Panther home games after NASCAR ended. I just like Rivera because he’s a stand-up guy, and those are hard to come by sometimes in the sportswriting business. I don’t know if he can do the job; I just hope he can.

In each of Rivera’s two seasons at the helm, Carolina has closed well. The flip side is that it has opened poorly. It’s a no-brainer that the Panthers have to hit the season running (and passing, according to Cam Newton’s vagaries).

I’m blogging late today because I had a dentist’s appointment. Just be thankful I didn’t write about that. It was uneventful, so I’m thankful I didn’t write about it, too. Thanks for visiting the site and giving the advertisers a look.

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About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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