Mason County News
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009 • Posted December 16, 2009

Author’s note:

In searching through my files to find items that have not been previously published in the Mason paper I have found a great many that I will publish from time. to time under the heading of :

"A little of this and a little of that"

{It must be remembered that these are memories from long ago)


Lawdy goodness, a couple of weeks ago I rattled a possum cage down there in San Marcos and that rascal came out of there frothing at the mouth, so I now say to him: "Hey feller, when you come to Brady be sure to come by and let me smell your breath".

Seems funny how these pedantic people can get upset when someone mentions their use of words which are unarguably correct yet lacking somewhat in really being indigenous to this area of the country. My good friend Charles Jarvis, better known in these parts as "Bitsy", in addition to being a dentist and noted after dinner speaker, also served as a columnist for the Brady Standard Herald for a couple of years after his retirement. Bitsy. being a college graduate (the Naval Academy no less) looks upon on George Will’s use of words quite differently than I. He reads George’s words and when he doesn’t understand their meaning he "gets up - goes across the room and looks them up in the dictionary", while I (having only high school "larning") look at those words and say "hell’s fire, I’ll never use a word like that so why try to find out what it means."

Oh well, I will admit that there are times when in deep wonderment over the use of a certain words I will go to the trouble to look them up — the embarrassment here is that rarely having occasion to use such words I promptly forget them.

Now Bitsy I wish I had the time to keep playing this game with you, but feller, I spect we each have other fish to fry. While, as you said, "we don’t want these columns to lead to a verbal bout" I see no reason why we shouldn’t have a little fun by rattling the other’s cage every once in awhile. So fire one of those nuances when you are ready and if I have any ammunition left I will sling a salvo back at you.


While on the subject of words let me pour an little more oil on the fire by bringing up that wonderful instrument of learning called the "Thesaurus" that somehow or another has been implanted in my computer. Now I’m atelling you that that rascal gives me more help than you can poke a stick at.

Being prone to use the same word over and over I can now avoid the use of bad grammar by saying to that smart instrument something like this: "hey, gimme a synonym or two for the word stupid" and to further embellish that word I tell the computer to put it in italics and underline it — then I punch a couple of buttons and presto there you have it.

As a result of this piece of magic I no longer have to repeat the word "stupid"when referring to someone. I can can now say that not only is that "peckerwood" stupid but in the language of the "Thesaurus" he is also insipid, and on top of that he is perhaps a boring and tiresome sort of a fellow too. I could then flavor such a statement with some of my own inimitable language (meaning unique or unequaled) by suggesting that he probably didn’t have the sense of a billy goat anyhow.

In modulating that "Thesaurus" feature of the computer I thought "man, wouldn’t it be something if that sucker could be programmed to come up with some good synonyms or second hand words for the phrase "you know" that is used over and over and over by those athletes (football, baseball etc.) who are always being interviewed on television. They absolutely work that "you know" to death but the sad part of it is that while I have been quite critical of them using it so often that I blush with embarrassment when I catch myself (or Alma catches me) in the frequent use of that same "worn out" phrase.(How about you?)


I received a short note from Bill Barber (the Uncle Bill of the Tuesday Brady Herald) a humorist known in circles around San Marcos as the "Fentress Philosopher" and who apparently plows in the same field (after dinner speaking) as does our old friend Bitsy.

He is said to be a great deal like Will Rogers in his approach to everyday life and in his ability to make an audience relax , laugh and feel good with his down to earth humor. Having read in the Standard that I plan to write more articles flavored with the Roger’s type humor, he wrote to offer me some books on the life of Will Rogers that might be of help to me.

Now that was darn nice of brother Bill. I appreciate his thoughtful offer but had to decline on account of: I perhaps found the same books in our local library — and as a matter of fact I have already absconded with enough material to write three more Will Rogers columns which are scheduled to be published in the following months. I am afraid to write any more for fear that the Rogers gang from up there in Oklahoma might form a posse to lynch me for rustling so many of Will’s witticisms.

Barber said that he and Will shared a lot of the same ideas about politics, but where Will was rich and talented — he was pore and ignorant and where Will liked everybody — he was somewhat different because he found that there are just lotsa folks out there that he doesn’t like atall, atall.


Now for a little Coffee Club humor:

In listening in to the palaver going on about the comet that has been roaming around in our atmosphere and the 39 cultists who committed suicide out in California I heard one fellow say that the best place to go to see the comet was out by the Brady race track. He said " I was out there the other evening and I saw it just as plain" — and then he added "and right behind that sucker I saw 39 little streaks of light — so I figured that those cult people must’ve given up on their space ship and were trying to hitch a ride on that dang comet."



When I was just a kid, which was a few years before the 1920’s arrived, there was to my knowledge only one ice plant in the town of Brady. It was owned by the Mann Brothers and was located a stones throw West of the Santa Fe Depot. I am just guessing when I say that it was it was perhaps in the very early 1920’s that Mayhew and Jordan entered into the ice making business.

I know that they were in that business in 1923 because I picked turkeys there and watched them load ice into the reefer cars for shipment of the frozen turkeys to the Eastern markets.

It was in those early days that one or maybe both ice plants delivered ice to the homes all over town and while the delivery man was taking the ice into the house we kids got to pick up the small chunks in the back of the delivery truck.

Ice in those days was really a magical thing for we kids. While our mothers used it in the old ice box for refrigeration purposes we liked it best for refreshment purposes. We would scrape it and make our own snow cones or chip it into small pieces to put into a fruit jar filled with milk, sugar and vanilla extract — then we would shake the devil out of it and make our own milkshakes. But we perhaps liked it best on Saturday nights or Sundays when we had company over for home made ice-cream. Oh lordy how we loved that stuff.

How thrilled we were when Papa would go to the ice house and bring home a 100 pound block of ice because our ice box would hold only 50 pounds so we knew that either tonight or tomorrow we were going to make ice-cream. And we looked forward to our function in this process which was to sit on top of the freezer while the elders turned the crank and to lick the dasher clean after it was pulled from the container.

Another joy we received from ice was getting to drink a bottle of cold soda-pop which was kept in ice chests at every grocery store in town..............




Some time ago I asked my friend Shagnasty to give me some of his thoughts on certain current and controversial issues. The following is a portion of his answer:



In thinking of those people who so violently harass the abortion clinics and protest the taking of a life I wonder what their answer would be to the question "What kind of life are you trying to force upon that unwanted child?"

If it really came down to "fish or cut bait" and each of these good Christian protestors had to adopt and raise each life that they saved I wonder what their answer would then be to the question "adoption or abortion?"

No doubt their answer would be "Oh no, you can’t force that child upon me, I don’t want it." Then again I wonder: isn’t that what they are trying to do to the woman seeking the abortion?



If my memory serves me correctly there is a quotation from the Bible which says "know the truth and the truth shall make you free". The key word as I see it is "know"....and it must be noted that this quotation says nothing about "speaking" the simply says "know the truth".

There is no warning here regarding the consequences for those in high places who carelessly "speak" a truth that can be viewed by some of their listeners as profane and degrading. Nor did they visualize that the truth they spoke, when not examined closely by some and taken out of context by others, could in effect destroy them. Two illustrations of this "truth" are:

Clayton Williams in an awkward description of a truth, lost an election.

Joycelyn Elders spoke a truth in a rather benign fashion and was fired for the embarrassment it caused her president.

Thinking just a little about these facts one can see that the consequences of telling a lie are smaller than that of telling the truth. If you think that is a far-fetched statement then consider the fact that in practically every election the purveyor of the most lies is generally elected...they tell us they will do things that they never expect to do.

But let one of those fellows tell us that our nation cannot recover from our astronomical deficit unless they take away a piece of the pie they have been serving us (i.e. Social Security, Medicare and Welfare) and he is in deep doo-doo. He told us a truth but the greedy among us do not want to recognize this truth.

And thus it was with Clayton Williams and Joycelyn Elders....when analyzed closely and without prejudice one will find that they each spoke a truth which was not recognized by the unthinking.



I see many in the news media as vultures who feed upon the carrion of the highways and byways and then try to serve it to us under the guise of "the public has a right to know". I cannot question that we have a "right" to know but my question is: do we "want" to know or "need" to know this sometimes distasteful rottenness they just can’t wait to tell us?

For instance....did we need to know that Newt called Hillary a "bitch" answer is no....and again I have a question....was this bit of stolen information intended to help or hurt someone or was it just to add some quarrelsome controversy to the program?

As I see it the carrion eaters of the media wanted us to share their meal with them so they put it on our plate whether we wanted it or not. In this instance if it really was Connie Chung’s choice to share this "bitch" misadventure with us I would be reminded of that old axiom which says "it takes one to know one".

However, it is more likely that the network, in it’s haste to set the table for this feast, cared not a fig for the fact that they were portraying Connie as a Judas to the person being interviewed and to the majority of the viewing audience. While this is my view I have no doubt that there are many who will agree with the network to "tell it like it is".

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