COLUMN: Rounding Third …………………………

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I don’t understand a lot about today. That being said, I won’t give up trying to have some influence on tomorrow.

A couple of weeks back I wrote an article about thinking young. I believe firmly in that, but it doesn’t necessarily mean “thinking LIKE the young.” Their perspective is guided by the times they grew up in—as is ours. Do I think ours was better?

In many ways yes, but I can’t deny the great technological advancements that have been brought into play in this century. I think every generation has its plusses and minuses and it’s up to preceding generations to help guide those that follow it away from the mistakes we recognize. I touch on some that I see in my poem this month called

“Today”

T-shirts and trucks, cell phones and cigarettes,

Cleavage and care givers, stout people wearing sweats,

Tattoos and torn clothes, poor people’s Lotto bets.

This generation is building its own regrets.

Fast food and phone sex, Game Boys and garbage shows,

Rap rhyme glorifies crime, power brokers nobody knows,

Bad boy role models, morality that comes and goes,

Drug using movie stars embracing American foes.

Drive-offs and drive-bys, stand-offs and serial crime,

Move fast to move up, too many daddies doing time,

White lies, black cries, sex and violence prime time,

Too many laws, too many flaws, too many leaders out of rhyme.

Drive fast, fly past, me-first is the game,

F-word, too often heard, adjectives stay the same,

Sign-on, hold-out, no-one honors their name,

Out of place, out of the race, move on to the next frame.

Government grants, Chinese pants, farmers paid for no crop,

Fast foods, sour moods, kids nourished with soda pop,

Buy low, sell high, everyone scared the Dow will drop,

Trapped on a merry-go-round nobody knows how to stop. — JDF

Do I understand some of it? Sure! It’s their generation, but I get a feeling they’ll have a lot of regrets—just as we do. Maybe we can put a little softer spin on it for them. Do I feel these things in the poem are all crimes? No. But most are mistakes that will reflect on where our future goes and how we feel about ourselves and our country.

Joke: A thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from the Louvre. He got past security, stole the paintings and made it to his van. However, he was captured just two blocks away when he ran out of fuel. When asked how he could mastermind that kind of crime then make such a fundamental mistake, he replied,” I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.” Bet you don’t have DeGaulle to tell this story. But then, what have you got Touloose?

SAYINGS: *The only thing I can do better than anyone else is… be myself!*Happiness and health go together. It’s the surly bird that gets the germ. *In times like this it pays to remember…there have always been times like this. * The government should be glad that we citizens have what IT takes. *When you feel alone and neglected, just think of Whistler’s father.

Historical tidbits: *FDR was a fifth cousin of Teddy Roosevelt and also a distant relative of presidents Grant and Taylor. In addition, he was a 7th cousin of Winston Churchill, (6 degrees of separation?)*Four of Mary Todd Lincoln’s brothers fought in the Civil War—for the south. Three were killed. As popular as her husband became—she was not—ever. *Ancient Chinese paid a fee to their doctors as long as they remained healthy. The fee stopped when they got sick. Makes sense to me. If the doctor couldn’t cure you, he never got paid again. Gives him a little more incentive to succeed. That’s it, folks. See you next week if I’m still paying the fee. JDF

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