Memories, Juneteenth, and Some #humor

When I saw this meme a friend sent me this morning, I cracked up. Seeing the garage packed like that reminded me of the garage my father had when I was a kid. The garage had been built as a three car garage, with one third of the space dedicated to woodworking tools and equipment. Two cars were supposed to go in the rest of the area – the key word here being ‘supposed.’

My father saved things. He also scavenged for things he might find useful someday, so that area for cars soon filled up with benches and tables covered with stuff. And in one corner copies of National Geographic and Popular Mechanics rose in towers that touched the ceiling. If my brothers ever wanted to find the pictures of half-naked native women, they did so at their own peril.

There were also literally hundreds of baby-food jars with nuts and bolts and screws and nails stacked on shelving along one wall. When shelves were filled beyond capacity, jars would find their way to other surfaces, and trying to find just the right bolt or screw or nail to fit what one was working on could take hours of searching. It was quicker to drive to the nearest hardware store and buy a new package, and the excess always ended up in yet another babyfood jar.

Today, I’d give anything to have just one of those jars from way back when. This being Father’s Day weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about Daddy and looking back at sweet memories.

It’s official. Congress passed legislation declaring June 19th – Juneteenth – as a national holiday, and President Biden signed the bill into law yesterday.

Celebrate Juneteenth 2021 in Killeen and Harker Heights

It’s about time!

Juneteenth has been historically known as Jubilee DayBlack Independence Day, and Emancipation Day, celebrating the emancipation of African Americans who’d been enslaved. The celebrations started in Galveston, Texas in 1866 and then spread throughout the United States. The date, June 19, is the anniversary of the June 19, 1865, announcement by Union Army general Gordon Granger that proclaimed that slaves in Texas were now free.

I include that bit of history because it is not something I knew from my high school or college history classes, but those were in Michigan, so maybe that’s why. I’m curious as to how many others over the age of 50, who studied Texas history, knew the details about this. If you did, raise your hand in the comments.

Since I’m still battling too much pain, I’m going to turn the blog over to Slim Randles again. Thank God I have a friend who is so willing to share his columns with us here on the blog, as well as readers across the country who subscribe to newspapers where his humor column is syndicated.

Thank you to a kind and generous soul.

We knew it was coming when Bert came into the Mule Barn truck stop the other day. He took his usual stool at the philosophy counter and world dilemma think tank, where he reigns as Cutting Edge Technology Advisor to the board of directors.

 It was that glint in his eye that gave it away.

 “Hi Bert.”

 “Hi Doc. Say, isn’t this a beautiful day? It’s 32 out there.”

 “Doesn’t seem that cold,” said Steve, our resident cowboy, who tends to look at everything from the back of a horse.

 “Oh, not 32 degrees, dear friend …”

 Dear friend? We’re in for it.

 “… but 32 inches of mercury in the barometer. Winds are calm. Sun is shining. No chance of snow.”

“You have a barometer?”

“Oh yeah. You can’t always depend on the TV weather guy, you know. You see, it’s not just where the barometer is that tells you what the weather’s like, but it’s where it is now in relation to where it was before. That’s what they call the trend.”

“Heard that word before,” said Doc.

“It’s scientific. Got a book about it the other day. Maizie picked it up at the library. You see, to the layman, the world outside looks kinda nice, doesn’t it? Sunshine, no wind. Looks like a beautiful day. But to the expert … to the meteorologist … that’s just the start. Oh yes. He’ll look outside at the beautiful weather, but he realizes it’s simply a precursor to the weather we’ll have tomorrow. He’ll know, you see, from how the mercury is responding in the glass … we call the barometer a glass … what kind of weather to expect tomorrow. That’s what sets us apart from other people.”

“Because you read a book?”

“ … And I have my weather station … yes.”

“So what kinda weather is coming tomorrow, Bert?” “Oh … ‘bout like today.”

“So the barometer told you that?”

Bert looked a little sheepish. “I didn’t have time to figure it out. Heard it on the news.”

Brought to you by the book River Runs Through Me by Mark Henry Miller.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim Randles is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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