Every year about this time, the Motion Picture Academy awards Oscars to the best actors, actresses, movies, music, sound affects (24 categories) of the movies of the past year. This year was the 90th year. The awards this year were on March 4. This article was written before March 4, so I have no idea who the winners were. You do by now, but it doesn't matter, this isn't about glitz, fame, fortune, plunging necklines and long speeches. It's about the day-in, day-out (DIDO) services of ordinary, hard working men and women we see every day.
In the news last week, we saw pictures of thousands of students, parents and community members in Parkland, Florida, attending a vigil expressing grief, anger and frustration as a result of the school shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that left 17 dead, including 14 students. The mass murder was carried out by a 19-year-old former student using an AR-15 assault weapon purchased legally. When arrested, the shooter had multiple ammunition magazines in his possession.
I was about to walk out the door of the county courthouse about two years ago when I spotted a metal button about the size of a quarter on the floor. I stopped and picked it up and it was a red, white and blue political campaign button that read, I LIKE IKE. Whoa! This was a button for Dwight D. Eisenhower who was elected our 34th president in 1952 and re-elected in 1956. This button had to be at least 60 years old. What was it doing on the courthouse floor 10 presidents later? I picked the collector's item up and I still have it − somewhere.
I walked by this women's store and checked the displays as I moved along. It was a very cold day and the north wind was in my face, but the displays inside the window were all spring. However, what caught my attention was a coffee mug or some little knick-knack with a message printed on it. The message: LIFE IS SHORT — BUY THE SHOES. I have to agree — life is short — and there are some things we ought to take care of before we run out of time, and buying a pair of shoes that you can't live without may be one of them.
It was late afternoon — dark, windy and very cold. We decided to stop for a quick visit with our friend in the transitional care unit. We drove to the part of the parking lot closest to the entrance and we had the good fortune to find three or four good parking spots. We very casually parked in one of those spots and went in to cheer up our friend as well as his wife and daughter who were there.
He said his name was Ben. He was about 10 or 11 years old and he looked like a little professor. He approached me and said "I liked your column about '5% charged.'" That was a column from a couple weeks ago about a cell phone that was 5 percent charged and a columnist also 5 percent charged and where does a person go to get energy.
When the salt and crud of winter make our car so dirty we can't tell what color it is, it's time for a car wash. So, I took the car to the scrub center, made sure the doors were shut, windows were rolled up tight and drove in. There I was, doors closed, windows rolled up, all sealed in the dirty car with no radio signal, no magazine and a blank mind. I was sentenced to seven minutes of solitary confinement. But I was reluctant to just write off those seven minutes as a total waste of time. So, I tried to imagine how those seven minutes could be put to good use.
I got a card from an old-timer during a frigid spell a week or two ago. How frigid was it? My car registered that it was minus 28 degrees outside. This card was an old black and white photo of a kid about 5 years old dressed in a 1948 cold weather uniform of overshoes and wool coat, standing there in the middle of the winter with his tongue stuck to a flagpole.
It was the day before New Year's at our house and time for an energy inventory. We didn't get very far. A check of Eartha's cell phone showed "5 percent charged." Whoa. We went no further. What a scary prospect — starting a new year with a phone that could suddenly go silent at any moment. Without notice.
By tradition, at the stroke of midnight, when the old year becomes the New Year, the band strikes up Auld Lang Syne and everybody sings and toasts, "Happy New Year." Auld Lang Syne is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788. The words of the title translate to "old long since" and the message of the song is that old times, old friends and love should not be forgotten. The words "we'll take a cup o' kindness yet" suggest a drink shared to symbolize friendship, good health, good will and "the remembrance of noble deeds." Great sentiments.