- When do you tell a kid that there is no Santa Claus?
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
When do you tell a kid that there is no Santa Claus?Share
And how do you do it?
Do you sit him down and say: “Son, your mom and I have been lying to you all these years?”
My grandson is 6, and I really think he has figured it all out by himself.
But at the same time, he is shrewd enough to not let on like he knows. That way he gets at least one more year of Santa gifts.
I wasn’t that smart.
I was 9 years old when I finally figured it out and had to get my ass whipped during the learning experience.
Some kid at school told me.
I told him he was a liar.
I took my beat-up ass and black eye home and demanded an answer from my mama.
She did the whole mama thing — telling me how although there might not be a real fat guy in a red suit and white beard climbing down our chimney (if we had one), there was still the spirit of Santa Claus that would never die.
So she lied about Santa.
Does that mean there also isn’t an Easter bunny or a tooth fairy?
How about God? Were you lying about that, too?
And who is that guy in the picture with me?
Whose lap am I sitting on?
Is it just some wineo in a red suit?
Or maybe some pervert trying to make a few bucks to buy kiddie porn?
An ass-whipping brings out the worst in all of us.
In reality, I am glad I believed in Santa.
I have happy memories of hearing sleigh bells ringing outside my window (it was mama) and then being woke up and told to go look under the tree.
There was a bike or a red wagon or maybe even that Red Ryder BB gun.
Christmas won’t be as much fun when Nicholas offiically becomes a non-believer.
For us or for him.
I am taking off a few days — so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
See you in 2010.
- Boys & Girls Club Christmas party with grandson a holiday treat
Friday, December 18th, 2009
I have been to a lot of Boys & Girls Club Christmas parties in my life — as a kid, a father and an alumni board member.Share
But last night was a first for Nicky G.
I got to go with my grandson Nicholas.
Some say it is wrong for us old-timers to re-live our lives through our children and grandchildren, but taking my grandson to his very first Boys & Girls Club Christmas party was the highlight of my holiday season.
Except for the addition of girls as members, not much has really changed about this party.
And why should it?
It is really amazing how something so simple can be so spectacular.
Nicholas is spoiled rotten.
I should know. I helped make him that way.
His garage looks like Toys R Us — with all the ghosts of Christmases past.
Yet his eyes still lit up when Santa handed him that brown paper sack and two half dollars last night.
“Maybe,” I thought to myself, “we haven’t completely ruined him.”
But then he turned to me and said:
“Grandpa, I bet I could sneak through that line again and get another dollar.”
“Oh, Lord, that’s the same thing I might have said 50 years ago.”
Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be Grandpa.
But I guess it could be worse.
While I was trying to figure out a way to sneak back in line, the Lavender boys were plotting to beat up the other kids and steal their sacks and money.
That’s why I had my grandson close by my side when we walked away from the club last night.
I knew somewhere out there was a little Keith or a little Jay hiding, in the bushes, ready to pounce on somebody and double or triple their money.
Thanks to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Wichita Falls for being the best in the business.
- TRN pitches another shutout on awards day
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
The Times Record News did its annual awards ceremony on Wednesday.Share
This thing started about 15 years ago when the company decided to quit giving Christmas bonuses and replace them with two-bit certificates.
And every year it’s the same old thing.
A lot of really deserving people in the building are recognized. (There are people here who can wallpaper a small bedroom with their certificates.)
And there are also a lot of really deserving people who don’t get recognized, many who walk away pissed at both the winners and the presenter.
As for me, I really don’t give a rat’s ass about any of this.
Maybe thats’ because I have never won anything and by now know that I should never expect to win anything.
Oh, last year, I received a joke award as “Employee of the Millennium,” but never anything else.
In 1999, I was named the Texas sports writer of the year by the Texas Daily Newspaper Association — and still got shut out here in my own building.
But keep hope alive, brother.
I really think I am getting closer.
This year I heard that I had cracked the top 100 for “Employee of the Year.”
I finished a strong 98th just behind two street corner hawkers, the toilet bowl cleaner, a deaf-and-dumb telemarketer and three people who failed their drug test.
- Oral Roberts: fake, crook, TV entertainer or true man of God?
Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
My first memory of Oral Roberts was on a black and white TV screen.Share
There he was sitting in a tent with the sleeves of his white shirt rolled up.
The armpits of that shirt were stained with sweat.
Sweat poured down his face.
Faith-healing in the 1950′s was hard work.
It wasn’t some pretty boy preacher with slicked back hair, wearing a bright red jacket.
The sick and the lame lined up for Oral Roberts.
When it came their turn, he would slap them on the head with a hard right hand and shout “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel.”
According to my count, every one of them walked away healed.
I wasn’t able to believe any of it.
The people down at the Church of Christ labeled Oral Roberts as phony baloney. Mainly I think because he wasn’t a member of the Church of Christ.
Then something strange happened.
Oral left the tent,
He started wearing nice suits. He quit sweating.
He also quit healing people.
But this man who never finished college himself went out and built the first Pentecostal university in the world.
Oral Roberts University in Tulsa has been a blessing to many people.
Roberts, in his later years, started saying some weird things.
He once said if he didn’t reach a fund-raising goal of $8 million, God was going to “call me home.”
That was in 1987.
He ended up raising $9.1 million, and God kept him around for 22 more years.
Also around the same time, Oral claimed a 900-foot Jesus appeared to him in a vision.
I always thought if that was really true, why didn’t he offer him a basketball scholarship to ORU?
Or better yet, become his agent and get him signed by the Lakers.
Oral Roberts died yesterday at age 91.
Was he a fake and a crook?
Was he a TV entertainer?
Or was he a man of God called to use his spiritual gifts to change the world?
I’m sure there are a lot of different opinions.
As for me, I will simply quote Isaiah 55:11.
“It is the same with my word.
I send it out and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
And it will prosper everywhere I send it.”
- Why spend big bucks on a superintendent?
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
What exactly does a school superintendent do?Share
Whatever that is — and I am betting it’s not all that much — I am sure the school district could save a whole lot of our money by either getting rid of the position or finding somebody who will work a whole lot cheaper.
Did you read Ann Work’s story in today’s paper?
She reports that George Kazanas has a base salary of $170,000.
The school district pays for all of his family’s health insurance.Wow!
He is given an extra $575 monthly car allowance.
And for all that, we get ???????????????????
Do you think this guy has made your kids a whole lot smarter?
Nothing against Kazanas.
Nobody in his right mind could down a deal like this.
Seems to me that this is a big waste of taxpayers’ money.
Wouldn’t our school district be better off if we took all that money and hired four really good teachers?
- DQ back in Hooterville; What’s next — Allsup’s?
Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
Hooterville Falls has finally hit the big time.Share
Now we are right up there on the map with Archer City, Holliday, Henrietta and Saint Jo.
Yes, my friends, Dairy Queen has returned to our town.
No longer do you have to drive 20 or 25 miles to a town 50 times smaller than us just to get a dip cone or a Blizzard.
But having been a Hootervillan all my life, I suggest that if you get to the point that you can’t live without a Belt Buster, you go ahead and drive to Archer or Holliday or Henrietta.
It will probably be quicker than to wait in one of those long lines that always happen when some new eating place opens here.
We probably have the worst Jack in the Box on the planet, but it took a month or two or long lines before we really knew it.
Back 30 years ago, it seemed like there was a Dairy Queen on every corner of our town.
But they disappeared quicker than Bobby Johnson.
I can remember 10 former Dairy Queen locations here.
The first was the walk-up DQ in the 1900 block of 9th Street.
That little DQ at one time had the best burger in town.
And some of today’s best burger joins — Scott’s, Gene’s, Pat’s and Ronnie’s — had roots in that first DQ.
The building is now vacated.
Next came what we used to call the Red Barn Dairy Queen on Jacksboro Highway. It is now Callahan Autoplex. The roof is no longer red.
Other former Dairy Queens in Wichita Falls are now:
Sunrise and Shine Omelet Grill on Jacksboro Highway.
A little family Mexican restaurant just south off Southwest Parkway on Fairway.
Texas Donuts –13th and Holliday.
Don Jose Mexican Restaurant — 10th and Kemp.
What used to be Taco Mayo (and before that The Quarter Place) on Kemp.
2009 Maurine Street — just across the street from Long John Silver’s.
The was also one across from the mall — in the vicinity of Georgann’s Craft Mall — but the building has been torn down.
And there was one in the City View area of the Old Iowa Park Road.
Why they all closed down I don’t know.
But there are more than 5,900 Dairy Queens in this world — in 22 countries.
More than 600 or those are here in Texas
Finally, Wichita Falls is once again a part of DQ Country.
What’s next — an Allsup’s?
- Graham still has to stick with Friday schedule
Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
There are only two high school football games this Friday, and one is Graham’s matchup against Pittsburg.Share
Usually by now, everyone is playing on Saturday. It’s easier for fans who have to travel, plus crowds are bigger because other non-affiliated football people are more apt to drive an hour or two to see a game on a Saturday.
Graham couldn’t play last Saturday because Texas (whose QB is Graham coach Brad McCoy’s son Colt — maybe you’ve heard of him) was going against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship.
I figured Graham would finally go to a Saturday schedule this week because the Texas’ season is over until the BCS Championship.
Silly me, though. I forgot the Heisman Trophy ceremony is on this Saturday. So the McCoys will be in Manhattan for that one.
Which means Graham will be playing at 7 p.m. Friday in Mansfield.
- Tiger’s Girls — 9 could make a baseball team
Monday, December 7th, 2009
I conducted a poll of my Facebook female friends last week, asking who had not had sex with Tiger Woods.Share
Only one answered with a definite “NO.”
To the other 100 or so women who either stuttered or didn’t answer, I say “Come out of the closet.”
Everyone else is.
Early this morning I read a blog saying that an Orlando waitress had admitted doing it with Tiger (or Cheetah as some are now calling him).
She went into great detail, saying how “very well endowed” he was and how he liked doing it in parking lots, garages and showers.
But as soon as I had read that, the New York Daily News said porn star Holly Sampson had confessed to having sex with Tiger, bringing the total to seven.
What happened to No. 6?
Then the National Post reports eight women have come forward.
US magazine is now say “at least nine.” have done it with Cheetah.
Now they could have their own baseball team.
And just think only a week or so ago, we actually believed this guy spent all his spare time on the practice range.
Tiger may not every break Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 20,000, but it seems he is certainly trying.
So far none of these bimbos were smart enough to secrety video sex with Tiger — the perfect Christmas stocking stuffer.
But every woman who has ever spread her legs for this guy is now hiring lawyers and book publishers.
What’s next — a shemale, a sheep, a Catholic priest?
This story is not going away anytime soon.
- ‘Merry Christmas:’ At least one Jew, one Christian can agree
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
Ben Stein is an interesting guy with an opinion on everything.Share
Sometimes I agree with him.
Sometimes I don’t.
Here is one of those times that I do.
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees… I don’t feel threatened.. I don’t feel discriminated against.. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.
It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
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.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to. ”
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina)….. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc… I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr.. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.. And we said okay..
Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit…
If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
- Let Lyne, Smith try to spell their way to Austin
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
I once chatted with Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Trent Lott in the Cotton Bowl press box.Share
I rode in an elevator with George W. Bush at the Ballpark in Arlington.
But since my wife and I have not yet crashed a White House shindig, I have never spent any real quality time around political big shots.
The closest I came was at this year’s Adult Literacy Council spelling bee.
The team on my left included Lanham Lyne, Michael Smith and Glenn Barham.
Since my friend Lanham had already announced that he was stepping down as mayor to seek bigger things in Austin, I questioned Smith and Barham about who would run for mayor.
They were courteous but rather cold. And I did not get a real answer.
So I figured both of them would be running.
Then I pick up the paper today and see where Smith is instead going to run against Lanham for the seat in the Texas House of Representatives that David Farabee is giving up.
I think all three of these men have served Hooterville Falls well.
If Barnam decides to run for mayor, he will probably get my vote.
Lyne vs. Smith, however, would be a tough one for me.
Lanham, in my opinion, has been one of the best mayors we have ever had.
The only thing he has going against him getting my vote is the “R” beside his name.
I lump Republicans in with Bush and Limbaugh. Swift boats and Iraq. Sean Hannity.and Ann Coulter.
Not big fans of any of them.
Smith has a “D” next to his name. Much, much better.
Plus, he was a good educator, which can mean a lot in the job he is seeking.
I would be proud to have any of these three men represent me.
But it looks like we can now only have two.
The Lyne-Smith loser will be out of the loop.
So instead of having some mud-slinging, D vs. R election, why not settle this thing right here and now? The winner goes to Austin. The loser gets to keep serving in the position he now holds.
And we can all be friends.
So how do we do that?
How about a two-man spelling bee?
OK, bad idea.
I sat right next to them. I saw these guys spell.
They might both lose.
- RCC is our grand prize winner in “Sack Zach”
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
With the playoffs pretty much wrapped up for our area, it’s time to declare a winner in the season-long “Sack Zach” competition.Share
And winning the grand prize — which is a $20 gift certificate to On the Border and four lower-level seats to an upcoming WIchita Falls Wildcats hockey game — is Rcc.
While nobody beat me — I finished with 126 correct picks — Rcc had the most winners among everyone else with 124. Rcc’s closest competitor for the main prize was jacksooner, who finished with 122 correct.
RedRaider83 and OldWildcat were next with 114 winners.
So Rcc, I’l be getting in touch with you soon so you can claim your prize. And for everyone who played this year, thanks for doing so. I thought this thing — which I kinda drew up right before football season — was a fun thing to do, and I hope to run it again next year.
Thanks everybody for playing.
- Thoughts from over the weekend
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
So, if you would have offered me Henrietta and 50 points before the game against Bushland, I would have bet my house.Share
Actually, I wouldn’t have bet anything because wagering on high school sports is wrong. But you get my point.
I’d be homeless right now. Just chalk it up an outcome I didn’t see coming.
With Henrietta, Munday, Burkburnett and Throckmorton all losing, we’re down to one team left. That would be our TRN high school preview section cover (also our only area 11-man ranked team) Graham Steers.
Some thoughts on the weekend: