What would Mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie do?

My son, Timmy, will be six on Friday and Emily, Cathy’s girl, will be eight on Saturday.  So many kids in the family and that means way too many birthday parties and that means my wife and her sisters are doing the same thing that my mom and aunts used to do with all the kids’ birthdays: they group the birthday parties. It’s easier for the family and a whole lot cheaper, too.

Cleveland is having a good year.  The Cavaliers are in the playoffs and if you’re in the playoffs you have a shot at making the finals and the championship.  The Indians are also playing pretty well so far and staying healthy. With a better start than last year they might make the playoffs this year and again, if you’re in the playoffs you’ve got a chance to play in the World Series and win the championship.

Two contending sports teams and the city is also hosting the Republican National Convention  this summer so Republican delegates and Black Lives Matter and Occupy youngsters will be coming in from out of town.  Possibly two sports championships and a national convention and that means three potential riots.

I’ve sent a letter to the mayor about how my mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie consolidated birthday parties and have asked him what he thinks about waiting until after we know if the Indians make the playoffs to plan a big riot/looting extravaganza for Cleveland.  You know, thinking about it if the Indians do get into the World Series and win that will be close to the Presidential election in November and that means another riot if Donald Trump wins. Four possible riots in one year, wow.  Help, Aunt Ruthie.

I know what mom, Aunt Helen and Aunt Ruthie would do, they’d plan one big event and that could be what the mayor might want to explore.  Fewer riots and less mounted police overtime cost for the city and a chance for Black Lives Matter and Occupy to tear up Cleveland and then go home with a big screen TV.  Seems like a sensible idea to me.

The only down side is if the Black Lives Matter and Occupy kids come in for the convention in July and then postpone their rioting and looting until later in the year, possibly in November, will they be able to get off work in order to come back for the riot and looting activities?


A bright future

I ran into Kenny McMillan Saturday afternoon. He and I were best friends in high school and it was really good to see him. Kenny’s family is one of the most prominent in town (the Parkers—Parker Ford and Parker Real Estate, the Williams—Williams Furniture and Clover Hill Dairy and the McMillans—McMillan’s Country Basket Supermarket and McMillan Bros. Funeral Home) and being Kenny’s friend got me my first job as a bagger at Country Basket.

We talked for awhile and he told me that the family had decided to shut the business down in a couple of months because of changes taking place which do not make the future look good. He said that people are really starting to follow the government guidelines for healthy living and are eating foods that you would not even have known existed ten or even five years ago.

I guess I can understand that. It takes a lot of money to carry inventory and now there are expanded items and brands in almost all food categories—low fat, no fat, low sugar, no sugar, low salt, no salt, low carb, no GMO, lactose-free, gluten-free, organic, no wheat, free-range poultry, grass fed beef. Not only does it cost a great deal for the inventory it also is expensive to expand shelf space to hold the new products.

I told Kenny that working at the Country Basket was an important start for me and that I was sorry to hear about the closing especially since Jeannie and I never liked shopping at Mayer’s Market. Kenny stopped me and said that Country Basket isn’t closing; Country Basket is doing very well. The family had decided to close McMillan Bros. Funeral Home because with the government endorsed and mandated life style and dietary changes people are never going to die.

Remember, not all

“Oh no, look, It’s coming down” and the world watched as Gustave Eiffel’s tower which had stood in Paris since 1887 crumbled into a pile of twisted metal that looked like the pictures of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937. And there could have been no greater shock until at the sound of an explosion the cameras swung around to show a massive black cloud rising above the Louvre Museum which had held priceless antiquities and art masterpieces from around the world.
“Oh, my god, they’ve done it”, and the new live images showed a destroyed Big Ben and Parliament Building in London and smoke rising above the rubble that was once St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The shock of seeing these world landmarks come down was greeted with sighs and comforting statements that they were only buildings and that few people had died or were injured and then a shopping mall in Des Moines and theatres in Buffalo, San Antonio, Portland, Tampa, Milwaukee and Atlanta were hit with bombs and gunfire killing 3000 people and vegetables were poisoned at supermarkets throughout the American south killing thousands.
The countries which had been attacked shuddered and the citizens waited in fear until finally the people had had enough and started to stir. As the level of the people’s anger rose those who had been taught well jumped up as one and in a mighty voice screamed out, “not all Muslims are terrorists”.

Hey, hey

I keep thinking about the current condition of the United States. I have never seen the country so divided and so angry and so confused. We are watching the nation rip itself apart. I keep thinking and thinking and asking, “how did we get to this point? How did this happen?”
And then there it was. Right there, coming out of my radio, the theme from The Monkees, the pop/rock, four member band created in the mid-sixties for a TV show. That theme song said it all:
Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees
And people say we monkey around.
But we’re too busy singing
To put anybody down.

We’re just tryin’ to be friendly,
Come and watch us sing and play,
We’re the young generation,
And we’ve got something to say.
“And we’ve got something to say”. Something to say, which was what that “we’re the young generation”?
You’ve got to remember the time that saw the creation of the Monkees, the sixties. Pepsi advertised itself as, “Now it’s Pepsi, for those who think young”. The Who was talking about “my generation”. It was all about the young generation, the baby boom generation. It was all about us, the boys and girls born after World War II. We were the generation which forced cities and towns across the nation to build thousands of schools as new housing developments exploded. We were the generation which was behind the creation of “The Mickey Mouse Club”, a TV show aimed at this huge, new audience. We were the generation which was the target for the creation of the Honda motorcycle and the Ford Mustang and muscle cars. There were so many of us that it truly was all about us. It was easy to see that the older generations meant nothing. Anyone who was not a baby boomer was an old fogey. It was about us and we had “something to say”. We were cool because we were cool and we bought it. If it wasn’t about us or for us it just wasn’t cool. We actually thought that we were something special.
Being so important was so cool. But of all those important baby boomer people who were the coolest? Whoever screamed the loudest that they were cool. Whoever had ”something to say” the loudest, something to say that was easy like peace and love. They were cool and that meant to be cool like them we had to say the same cool things. And we listened and we bought it over and over again. We watched as a whole generation got excited about us and we just had to be right didn’t we?
We were special because we weren’t our parents or our grandparents and that made it real easy to be special and cool because that meant that we should be whatever they were not. We were the counter culture. If they warned us about the dangers of using drugs than drugs were what we wanted. If they wanted a good job and a family and a strong nation then we didn’t. If they loved their country and fought for her then we didn’t and wouldn’t. The baby boomer generation fell right into line following those who blamed America first and then hated America and all that the nation stands for. And it was all so simple. Your opinion didn’t really mean much unless it was the right opinion. Have the right opinions and you’re cool, you’re important and your life had meaning. Just wear your hair long like the hippies in San Francisco do, like your father never would and you were groovy and you were someone who cared, someone of importance. We were ribbon wearers before there were ribbon wearers.
And then the years slipped by and it was still about us because of our numbers. Housing? About us. Employment? About us. TV and movies? About us. It is about us into the future too because after the housing developments and schools which were built for us there will be hospitals and nursing homes in the future because of us.
After all of these years too many of our fellow citizens are still lost in the sixties and still trying to be special and cool. And where are we today? Where do we find the nation? Being led and fundamentally changed by old hippies and hippie wannabes and directed in the press by old hippies who still think that they’re special. “We’re the young generation and we have something to say”.
Want to know what I think, what I have to say? Give me a minute and let me find out what the cool people have to say. I’m special, Hey, hey.

My wife will be right back

Our family just got off the power grid. Hurray. We did it, we really did it and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our house is the first in the area to have solar panels installed on the roof and on the roof of our garage. No more ever increasing power bills for us. Goodbye, First Energy. The system became functional Saturday morning and is working great.

The kids are so excited. They’ve taken pictures of the solar panels and the electric meters and of their father ripping up the last electric bill this family will pay and have a created a show and tell presentation for school. I’ll just bet the phone starts ringing tonight when everyone in town hears what we’ve done.

I’m kind of the nuts and bolts guy on this project, I just love to see the latest technology in action. I’d like to take credit for making it but it was Jeannie who sits down to pay the bills who was the driving force behind our decision to go solar. She wanted to jump in here and tell everyone how thrilled she is with our new money saving energy independence and how we can now use the money we save for Hunter and Bethany’s college fund or for family vacations but she’s not here right now. She’s busy making the kids’ breakfast and it’s a cloudy day so she had to go next door to make toast.