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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Moral Imperative For Us Common Folk

Updated on October 30, 2017
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

My family Still Commemorates 911

It is not the horror we remember but the heroes.
It is not the horror we remember but the heroes. | Source

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

Just some silly rock climbing in the Grand Canyon.
Just some silly rock climbing in the Grand Canyon. | Source

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.

I Have Been So Blessed As To Sit Around Complaining With These Two Guys.


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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      22 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence. I sure had fun doing it when I was little. Not too tough on a small creek.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      I've never been much of a fisherman, but even I can remember learning to make a rod with a bamboo poles and piece of string! (but no Rainbow trout caught).

      Really enjoyed the story.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Kari that is very kind of you to say. Sometimes I think we do not teach integrity. But we can clear the way so that very little interferes with a childs ability to grow in such a way.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      23 months ago from Ohio

      The boy did with integrity what I have done for fun. We are all taught, and hopefully taught to be good. His grandfather was a wise man to teach him the difference between and action and himself. Very good story.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      23 months ago from The Caribbean

      That boy has become a pro at teaching important life's lessons based on his personal experiences in boyhood and manhood. he was pursuing his purpose without being aware.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive I have a bruise from pinching myself to make sure this dream is true.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah I do figure that I pick and choose out of that there Bible. More than 1,000 pages in a good one. I have centered on the notion of just plain give it out love with no expectations in return. I have the notion that things will end but I got no such control. I root for my Astros but won't watch the games as I have no control over performance and result.

      I leave such things to women far better than me.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      23 months ago from Jamaica

      enjoyable read. life is amazing isn't it?

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      23 months ago from Washington DC

      Your reply to Jackie reminds me how it's written concerning the survivors of civilization's end, "and a small child shall eat them" into doing what adults have been coerced not to do, which is live ecologically. Small children don't have inhibitions to pick things off the ground to eat, drink from any water they see animals drink from and eat plants adults would not without having someone else to do it first.

      So, your last statement is very prophetic of what some adults, not only dads, will require to survive the next 11 years left since Israel became a nation in 1948, if my interpretation of the "parable of the fig tree" is true.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Jackie my eldest son told me to start writing like the stories he was raised on. I never even thought about it much. He has a philosophy and art degree from Santa Cruz. He writes songs, poetry and sketches.

      Us dads are much smarter if we learn from children.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Elijah I learned story telling from my family. For a bit for about 4 months a year we lived without electricity. So rocking chairs were about and we got to be regaled with stories from WWII to my dad boxing his way to pay for Yale. Night time was for stories and daylight for making them.

      I am a Christian but I live much with Navajo and Hopi. The sense that what we do for the least of these, including animals is who we are struck home hard and fast. I spent a couple years as a tracker. You end up profiling one animal and getting in their head.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill there is this notion of loving your neighbor and your enemy. I recite it every morning.

      I have been looking for Halloween stories of trick or treating. It seems that most places are dangerous. And I have no idea why here we act like people with morals and it is safe. Are you and I in La La land.

      Way cool deal with your family and your roof.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      23 months ago from The Beautiful South

      Eric, this may well be the best piece you have written! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very well done!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      23 months ago from Washington DC

      Well Eric, a well told memory of your childhood, mine is not near as exciting to read about as yours, but very much like yours is some ways. One difference is I killed one of the three birds that would not fly after I threw the first stone and you startled a Rattler and flung it to safety, yet neither of us did a bad thing, during my life as that bird another child Elijah killed me for not flying away and when you were that snake another Eric saved your life. Karma (Sowing and Reaping) at work in the life of children.

      Did your grandpa also teach you how to weave your stories in such mind grasping way or one of your native American friends? However you came to it you are quite a weaver offices into stories. Well done!!!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      23 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I reflect on this often when I hear about crimes committed...where is the moral imperative? Where is the sense of right and wrong that 90% of us possess? What could possibly lead a person to cheating on a large scale, stealing, murdering? It's beyond my comprehension, Eric, and for that I am grateful.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      23 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey buddy it is always good to hear from you and I am happy you are at least a part well.

      You remind me of a time in the parking lot at Taos. Sandia Peak and the second downhill race in Taos. 3 of us had no money for a room so us 3 huddled and slept together in a van. The next day I qualified for the Olympics. No cash and so no chance at the dance. Back to being a cowboy. But I reckon that will be another story as I flew off the mountain in a helicopter that landed at Wolf Creek Pass. And do not get me started on my first responder time at Cimoron. I love NM

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      Hello my friend , I have missed your writing Being in NM, this fall and early winter I can not just read but well imagine the memories you just recited . What honor , character , freedom in the life lived well and even though quite frugal , he learned well didn't he ! And how blessed that ole preacher is , No ? Anyway , I have been traveling the US west this summer and fall and am about to settle in Silver City , NM. Have I told you lately I have missed your writings .........Your Bud Ed.


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