The big maple in front of my house me was home base. I rested my forearms against the trunk, bowed my forehead on them, and with eyes shut counted to 10.
“Here I come, ready or not,” I said in a loud voice.
Then I went hunting, hoping to uncover the hiding place of one of the gang and touch them “out” before they could race back to touch the tree.
All the time I had to watch my back in case someone had hidden close enough to zip home before I could.
Hide and Seek was one of the many games we amused ourselves with in that little river village where I spent my happy boyhood days.
I know I and others have written about those youthful days spent in the middle of the 20th century until the matter has become hackneyed. Still, though, I think such is acceptable to be repeated, again, and again.
I believe youngsters of today are missing something valuable when they sit looking at a little rectangular box pushing buttons.
What set me off to writing about this subject for today’s column was my attendance earlier this week of the 80th birthday party of one of those old-time friends. Some of us got to talking about how uncomplicated our lives were growing up in the mid- to late 1940s and the early 1950s.
We would play our games in the village streets until darkness fell and our mothers called us in to wash up for bed. There was no television but we had our favorite radio programs we tried not to miss.
There was no air-conditioning and upstairs bedrooms were hot. With the screened windows thrown up we could hear the whippoorwills calling from the hills above town.
Habit-inducing drugs were non-existent. We didn’t even know what marijuana was.
Our day in the public schools began with a reading by the teacher of scripture from the Holy Bible and a recital by all of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.
We came home from school to a clean warm home and the aroma of supper on the stove. Our mothers, using the paycheck our fathers brought home every two weeks, managed the affairs of the home. Hers was a difficult task, really, but we never realized it from the way she always seemed to have time to sit down and listen to our problems.
I’m sure there are some people who can find fault with, or even ridicule, the life we lived back then.
But in the midst of their complaints, they might want to pause and ask themselves this question:
Is life in America better now than it was then?
It’s obvious that it’s not. America is on a downhill slide. Never in its history has there been such an attempt to discredit the Holy Bible and the teachings of God’s son, Jesus Christ – the very principles this nation was founded on.
It’s also obvious that judgment is coming. The signs of the end time Jesus listed for the disciples in Matthew Chapter 24 are knocking at the door.
Listen intently and any day now you might hear Him say, “Here I come, ready or not.”
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
TEACH THEM TO READ
Thank goodness for teachers who strive to build an interest among young people to read books. What a joy for life can be found when we lose ourselves in the pages of a good book.
It’s wonderful the way libraries are holding summer reading programs for youth. A great door is opened to adventure and wonder when children learn to read, and adult lives are enriched if we can only set aside time to read a good book.
I like reading history. I recently finished “Fierce Patriot” by Robert L. O’connell, the story of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Union general so prominent in shaping the United States.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) knew something of the pleasure and treasure of reading when she penned her poem, titled simply:
“He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings.”
TO SAVE A FISH
Summertime, when water temperatures rise into the 80s, make for some difficult fishing. It’s also difficult for anglers who release their catch alive to make certain those throwbacks have a chance to live.
Not to handle the fish properly can mean all good intentions will lose.
Fish have a protective slime coat that acts as part of their immune system. Protecting this slime coat is of the utmost importance when handling fish.
For about $10 you can buy a fish gripper tool for handling fish with ease and not harming them. They provide exceptional control of the fish by latching on to its lower lip while you work the hooks loose and toss it back.
Reach G. SAM PIATT at (606) 932-3619 or [email protected]