Thursday, May 26, 2016

Change is inevitable

Was driving down So. Valley Mills Dr. just a day or two ago and it’s the first time I’d driven down it since they imploded the West Sideline, Press Box and Sky Box remnants of old Baylor Stadium. It left a void in my sight line.

You see, it was built in 1950, three years after I was born and has been one of the constants in my life. Within my entire memory every time I ventured down Franklin Ave or So. Valley Mills I saw it. The stadium had changed over time, grown larger as would befit a Division I NCAA Football Program; but, it was still the same old Stadium where I ushered as a Boy Scout, watched games coached by John Bridgers as an undergrad; and later as an Alum, “paint it green” Bill Beall & Grant Teaff who led us to our first SWC Championship. That led to the lean years of Chuck Reedy, Dave Roberts, Kevin Steele, Guy Morris; with Art Brile ultimately taking us from the wilderness into the Promised Land. Saw a lot of good ball players too; including John Westbrook who broke the color barrier as the first black SWC football player - EVER. I saw and remember Don Trull, Larry Isbell, Bill Glass, Lawrence Elkins, Mike Singletary and up to and including RG III.

But; all in – all done, yet another familiar landmark has gone away. The new McLane Stadium is magnificent, not a bad seat in the house, however, I choose to mourn the old one’s passing.

This temporal life doesn’t guarantee us constancy. It rather insures us that time indeed marches on and we are helpless to stand before it in an effort to halt it. Was discussing just today how much of the landmarks of my youth have disappeared. A business location lost to Urban Renewal, a Lake property to the Corps of Engineers, two generations of homes from my childhood and all the schools I attended until College. Gone or changed.

Can’t really say whether this is personally for the best or not. For the greater good, though, yes. I guess my melancholy is towards what I perceived as: “A kinder, gentler time.” And at this age, I miss those days.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Humble Pie, ongoing

Had a bit of a storm come through early last week (70 mph winds) and "lost" quite a bit of fence around the front of our house. In truth, while a very nice design, it's rather old. Over the years I've patched it about as much as can be done without a major reworking. 

As the homeless person referred to earlier was a carpenter by trade at one time, I asked him if he wanted the job of repairing it properly. He said he did. So, I purchased materials to get him started and left him without supervision. The job isn't rocket science, I could do it myself given time, but I thought it a good way to get him some cash and save me the work.

First day, he started late, self admittedly took too many breaks, complained about his sciatic nerve "bothering" him, but did accomplish some repair (which was very good). Was paid out of pocket for the time he worked.  I also provided tools and advanced him a pack of cigarettes and a large beer at his request. (I know... let's just not go there).

Second day was "same song, second verse", except for his admission of an hour and a half that he did nothing. Was fed lunch and paid out of pocket once more.

Third day (Friday) was much worse, admittedly accomplished nothing but did have a good nap under the Red Oak Tree. Wife had to bring him back and he told her he hoped he hadn't lost the job. No work, no pay.

I spent Saturday temporarily putting most of the fence back up and worked in the yard. More rain coming. Sunday afternoon stopped by the office, had a visit with him, told him I wasn't "mad" about what happened and the job was still his. I did; however, stress that if he wasn't up to working any given day he owed me the respect to say "I can't work today".

Monday was a rainy day so we didn't contact each other. Tuesday I arrived at the office and there was a note on the door saying he was declining to work any further. Seems like his excuse was he wasn't going to work for free... blah, blah blah.  Said note did not sit well with me. So… am at the point that when the rain stops I’ve got another chore on my plate; AND, am at a time to make a decision whether he stays or moves on. Thus I’m very conflicted as to my faith position and how to deal with the entire issue. I keep thinking about the parable of the “Workers in the Vineyard”, yet wonder where my responsibility ends.

Suggestions?   Comments?