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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Moral Imperative For Us Common Folk
My family Still Commemorates 911
Why Would A Boy Grow Up?
The boy walked down a road, a road called “Old Indian Road” to this day. He was walking from his home/cabin that in fact was homesteaded from the Piute. A land grant to a family that his family bought it from. His was the first actual cabin built on nearly 100 acres.
The boy kicked some red dirt with his bare feet to make some dust that would mesmerized the stupid Rattle Snake in the middle of the road. Then a quick sideways dance move and a lunge for the neck and the boy whipped the stupid rattler off the road so as not to get squished by the ’57 Chevy pickup his brother would surely be driving down the road. He was not so tough. Just 5 years older at fifteen. The brother that is.
There really was no reason for the boy to be barefoot as he had perfectly good shoes. He walked on a bit and stuffed a big old grub in his cutoff jeans that were only held up by a rope belt. He was only ten but had a 10 pack ab deal going on. He was not just fast running, he could catch a Mule Deer running, bare foot. He later qualified for State finals in the 440 hurdles.
His hero was a guy named Jim Thorpe. A long forgotten man. An Olympian and the first American Indian to win a gold medal. Life was that cut and dried for the boy. Heroes and devils. Good and bad.
A prickly pear cactus drew the boy’s attention. He picked up a big Basalt rock and smashed it into another. Shards fell all around. He picked the sharpest one and used it as a knife to cut off and skin the fruit/pear of the cactus. Purple juice ran from his mouth to his trouser cut offs. Nothing a good swim in the Oak Creeks would not clean off, but he better be clean for dinner as his Mom cottoned no bare chests or dirty at the table lit by an old kerosene lantern.
Then the boy slipped down into the small Glen and grabbed two sticks just right. Some poking around and in minutes he had 10 earth worms that went into his pocket with the grub. Of course a big old dollop of black mud went with it.
Life was a struggle – Not!
Strange How Boys Grow Up And Have Boys Better Than Them
Ours Were Blackberry fields. I Love This Song
Just Silly ruminations
The boy had a nickel and it just gnawed at him so he busted full bore into a sprint the last half mile to the store across the creek. A couple of boulders he knew well in the creek and he was there in 5 minutes. A Rasberry Shasta and using the store keeper’s church key he drank half to bring the other half for fishing. A hop skip and a leap and he was down at the creek. That rock shard he used for the Prickly pear worked just fine on a Boxelder shoot about ten feet long. The worms were laid out and splashed with water. The Line and hook in his coin pocket was ready for combat. He repeated to his self that he would bring home the meat for supper. The first swing and dump yielded nothing, or as the boy learned from his friends – Nada.
Eight Rainbow trout were claimed. The boy fashioned a twig line to hold them. And now the grub was ready. Only the biggest fish could get this delicacy. They were called German Brown. The boy hopped too and fro to a big rock. He only let out half his line as he knew the Brown was underneath. Wow the big fish grabbed it and the boy jammed his fishing stick into a crevice, dove head first into the water and slammed his fingers through the fish’s gills. This ain’t no game. This ain’t no sport. This is about putting food on the table for 8 hungry mouths.\
The boy was only ten. A man is only worth his salt if he provides. The boy’s friends were miles away. Some had chores to do like sweeping or cleaning their room. The boy was not required but took it upon himself to provide as his grandpa had taught him.
Well maybe I forgot to mention that the boy’s grand pa is who taught him all that stuff. He and grand ma died within a week of each other back in the spring. This was the first summer without Grandpa Jack. Jack was a rare breed. He fought at 16 in WWI and a bit older in WWII. He was like Jesus, he was a carpenter and a fisherman. There was a fun phrase the boy picked up “that don’t mean Jack”.
So the boy headed the mile and a half back home barefoot. His big brother came upon and stopped/rolled just long enough for the boy to jump into the bed of the pick em up truck.
Seemed his sisters picked enough Blackberries for a cobbler and his other brother got some good watercress and dandelions and so desert and salad and trout would make a feast fit for a real king. Ice cream was made by a churn. Real rock salt, cream and fresh eggs with some ice. I think his mom added sugar and maple syrup. Who knows.
And now onto moral integrity.
I Reckon Most Reading Ain't Never Spent Any Time On A Chain Gang. Bad On Me, And Good On You!
Perhaps, Just Perhaps The Road The Boy Walked Being Walked By His Daughter
Don't Look At This Old Preacher For Answers
Let us rewind and reflect on our boy. Seems he had no friends around. But is that true? Was the rattler his friend the way he laid down his life for him? Was the boy weak in character? He could have just thrown the rock into the cactus and killed the whole thing for one pear. Was the boy not frugal? He drank half of the soda and saved the rest for later. Was the boy preparing for the future? Did he dig up the worms to play?
I reckon that most of us do not get the integrity of the boy as somehow taught by his grandpappy. A ten year old who does not insist his mom buy him a fishing pole but rather brings home dinner with a stick cut from the same shard as used to eat before.
Where are we? Where are you? Would you be unhappy with no shoes? Would you be unhappy that your big brother did not give you a ride both ways? Would you be freaked out by worms that helped feed your family?
You know full well that I know that boy. And you know full well that he was not born good, he was taught it. Maybe from time to time he lost his way to integrity but all said and done he did not lose sight of it. I pray the Lord that I be one tenth as good as that grandpa taught. But let me tell you that I will not give up and when I fail I will do as grandpa taught me. Get up out of the dirt and know I did a bad thing but I am not a bad man. All of us are special and good and that ain’t no high faluting claim.
Try this song on for size – maybe throw a tear my desert way.