Sunday, August 23, 2009

You Never Know

Usually it takes about 2 or 3 days for the doubt to creep in....where it will set up housekeeping in the back of my mind.

I am speaking of what every writer calls .... "writers block".

Writers block is capable of setting the parking brake on the flow of creative juices...much like sunblock will hinder the UV rays of the sun....only better...or worse, depending if you're the writer or the one sitting in the sun.

Trying to decide what to write about that might entertain you folks out there who are kind enough to spend an average of 2 minutes and 44 seconds per visit and keep you coming back for another dose sometimes is like a dog chasing its tail....humorous to watch, about as productive, and leaves you wondering about you and your pets sanity.

Lots of stuff going on in this old East Texas boys life this past week or so...more distractions than
you can shake a stick at with school starting tomorrow and being bitten last week by an undisclosed species of spider...which by the rate of as been determined NOT to be of the dangerous category.

Just mentioning spiders causes me to shiver a bit. I really don't care for those eight legged creatures that God gave us.

For you hunters out there, if you have spent any amout of time in the woods of East Texas, you all know about the infamous 'banana' spiders that spin their webs across every cow or game trail in the Big Thicket...just waiting for you to walk into and then spend the next several minutes wiping away their sticky old web and then searching for the spider that you can never locate.....and leaves you wondering where the heck it went.....but this may have to be shared with you later so let's get back to this weeks issue of my stumbling and stammering around.....

As I was speaking of earlier, there's writers block to contend with along with all the 'stuff' that finds its way into the daily you never really know who, what, or where your inspiration will come....but it always does.

I had even thought about maybe this blog thing wasn't gonna fly and flirted with just taking a short time off and away from the keyboard...then BAM...there it is. So unexpected but so obvious.

The credit for this piece goes to my neighbor across the street...Mrs. Arena.

Actually this is the second time she played into my game without her knowing. She was the inspiration behind the story about "Headlights and Tail-lights"....and of all places like the grocery store to run into her, she smiled and greeted me about how much she and some friends of hers were enjoying my blog.

Timing is everything and the fact that our paths crossed as I was entering the store and you were leaving with your purchases proves to me again about being just a small player in this thing called life. Ten or fifteen seconds either way and I would have missed your blessing of encouragement today.

Just so you will know Mrs. Arena....your kind and generous remarks concerning this small space I claim in cyber-space...were well timed and received. That is 'just' what I needed...the old shot in the
arm for keeping on ....."keeping on".

....and I thank you.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

You Gotta Wonder

How's your funny bone doing?

Not the funny bone in your elbow, the funny bone that defines your sense of humor. The part of you that lets you find the funny stuff in your life.

I always say that you gotta laugh to keep from crying these days. Laughter is good for the soul. Which brings about the question...

Do you think that God likes baseball? Of course He does and He even had it documented in His Word.

So you didn't know that baseball is mentioned in the Bible? Yep, it sure is and it must be a favorite sport of our Creator since He had it recorded right there up front of everything else....and you most likely have heard it before too.....

"In the Big-Inning...."

You get it don't you..? in the beginning..God created ... (just checking...)

While sitting in the drive-thru this A.M. at the local McDonalds, my son and I noticed...let's call them mature... a mature couple arriving for their morning coffee and breakfast.

Just as they came to a stop in the parking spot, you could tell that the wife was just a wee bit irritated with her husband of several years....reason we knew this was due to the 'body-language' she had going on with her head and the clear, concise, and complete -who-the-boss-is reply...before they exited the car...

It couldn't have been too terribly bad since he did carry in both of their McDonald's logo loaded coffee mugs for their meal.

I casually asked my son if he wanted to wager a bet as to how long the couple had been blissfully married..and he added that could be or should be changed to....'blisteringly' married.

After witnessing this early morning event, another question surfaced...

If a husband is in the woods and makes a decision, with no wife actually there, is he still just as wrong?

Yeah, I might catch a bit of the business from that remark...but that would mean that whoever gives me the flak, actually went online and read this blog....I'll take that chance.

Our son is beginning to hone his own sense of humor, but this morning, he really got me.

While at the doctor's office to complete his required list of immunizations for the school year, he was carrying around the usual basket of nerves. There were 4 shots that he needed to be ready for the coming year and the doctor was doing his usual banter with the patient and commented how several of his female patients had fainted from the ordeal.

As the fourth and final injection was administered, I watched my son sink to his left...thinking he was checking the sense of humor of the doctor....when he hit the exam table....I suddenly realized ....

He ain't joking! The boy actually fainted dead away. His eyes never closed and was only out for just a few seconds....but it sure was enough to stir the emotions of his dad....yeah buddy.

On the way home, I reminded him of the reason for the additional call buzzer in the examining room...had his mother been the one there, the doctor would of had to deal with both of you....a fainting patient and a hysterical mother....

Tomorrow we and my son, will go and do all the registering for his first year in high school.

Chances are, my sense of humor is about to be tested....I will let you know....wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Life at the Front

You never quite know what circumstances will occur to bring an individuals character to the surface and then when an incident does make its appearance, you may stop and ask yourself....

"How would you have handled that if it had been the Front?"

William Guillory was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He served our nation for 3.5 years while reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant in the Air Force. After which he enrolled in college and secured a degree in mechanical engineering. He came to the Golden Triangle area in 1972 where he worked the area refineries for 24 years.

But something was just not right with his understanding of mathematics and the way the world was unfolding around him.

I am told that the motivation that drives Mr. Guillory comes from the fact that a large percentage of the young black males enrolled in school in the ninth grade will not make it to their senior year of high school.

He wants to make a difference wherever he possibly can.

The numbers he quoted me for both male and female students that would drop out was staggering...but the look in his eyes was enough for me to begin to understand the driving force inside him.

It was earlier this spring while preparing his ninth grade classes for the mandated TAKS testing that his moral fiber was pushed to its tensile strength.

Seems there was a difference of opinion between two female classmates of whom both favored the attention of the same male student, and the discussion was brought into Mr. Guillory's class...which to say the least; turned physical in the blink of an eye.

With an obvious difference in the 'weight-class' of the two contestants, a decision was made to keep the smaller girl from being pummeled. It was during the second attempt to separate the girls that Mr. Guillory received his 'medal' for valor.

The rotator cuff injury would sideline Mr.Guillory for the rest of the season.

What is wrong with this picture? Where do students of today get off thinking that this type of behavior is acceptable?

Mr. Guillory told me that when he returned to his classroom to pick up his things, the substitute teacher had recorded failing grades for the student that was the center of attention that fateful day back in April.

Another statistic? You do the math...

Mr. Guillory will teach his last year of high school math this coming year. Next year he will retire from the 10+year career he truly gave of himself to.

Did I mention to you that his three children all received degrees in other fields, BUT ended up changing over to the rewarding career of teaching themselves?

Imagine that....kinda makes you go hmmmmm doesn't it?

Way to go can retire to Waco next year....and get yourself away from hurricane alley.

Port Arthur Memorial High School will surely miss you and your passion for teaching. May God bless you as only He can.

Thanks for caring.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Coming Attractions...

I recently received some constructive criticism about one of my recent articles that is posted here. I have learned while being new to this writing gig, one should listen to all that is said and chew on it a while before responding.

Responding may be the wrong word here...

How about... reflecting on the criticism, that sounds better, a little more thought provoking on my part.

This particular feedback resulted in a volley of emails between myself and the individual whom I greatly respect for his time and words of encouragement.

Like baseball great Dizzy Dean once said: "It ain't bragging if you can back it up..." ...
..and with the number of years this mentor has under his belt, the respect due him is deserved as well as demanded.

My next piece will concentrate on an individual and not so much as a group. The particular article in question was referred to as 'kinda long' and just 'ran on' a little too long.
I have to tighten it up a bit. Write tight as I have been told.

Through the past 6 weeks of my coming and going to physical therapy, I met a new friend that I want to introduce to you soon.

His story is unique in its own.

This man is one of our modern unsung heroes that walks among us virtually unseen.

We all know someone like him, and possibly one or two of you reading this could either be a co-worker or a brother or sister in arms with him.

Mr.G is a high school teacher.

Be sure and come back to read my story on this local hero. One of our local teachers that is leaving his mark on our future.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I honestly do not know where the name for this article originated from, but understand the theme....maybe there is an extra 'S' in the middle word....

I am to reveal 8 things, honest things about myself that are absolutely the truth. Thanks to Debra for her consideration of me for this award. I want to thank all the little people, which is most everyone since this diet I am currently on is not exactly working to plan....lose 4 or 5 pounds and then gain them back.

Honest Scrap on me...

1) My real name is Edgar A. Chambers. I was named after the man that stood up with my parents at their wedding. Had I been born a female, my name would have been Evelyn, the name of the wife of the man that stood up at my parents wedding.

2) Jake is simply a nickname. Given to me by a friend from high school. He couldn't remember my real name so he threw out Jake and it has stuck with me for close to 39 years now. I still hear from him every 6 or 8 years. If anyone reading this knows the whereabouts of a Brill Jordan from Kountze, Texas....tell him to call me.

3) I am a native born Texan and proud of it. Another one of the many blessings that God gave me includes being a natural born American citizen. Speaking along the lines of lineage....I am 1/8th Seminole Indian.

4) My three brothers are all actually half brothers. My parents both had children from previous marriages. You wanna talk fuzzy math, try this. My dad had 3 sons and my mom had 2 sons. Add all these up, there are 4 of us boys. That's right...I am number 3 son for my dad and number 2 son for my mom.

5) I love to bass fish....but you knew that huh?

6) I would love to compete in the Amazing Race reality show.

7) One of my first jobs was at the local movie house, the Texas Theater in Jasper, TX back in 1967. I made $15.00 on my weekly check and cleared just over $12.63 each week. I learned to operate the projectors and recently was able to take a guided tour of the projection booth at Tinsel Town Cinema Theaters to see how technology has advanced. WOW! My son was equally impressed with the set-up.

8) I truly love my family. They mean the world to me. Without them, my direction in life would simply be meaningless.

It Is What It Is