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In the Catbird Seat/Joe Kirkish

Old folks’ tales

September 20, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

Here's your old cockroach friend, Archie, back again after visiting with some amazing old timers. You know, Boss, they always have something worth listening to:

"I look for names in the obits and I'm kinda smug at beating others in the game of life. Age 91, treading water, still missing my hubby.

I raised a nice family and shared it with my loving beau for 63 years, keeping a family of six provided for. Did I want to work? Sure, and I did, but not for money. We managed on his paycheck while I was busy being a housewife, and it paid off; our kids growing up and having kids, all healthy and wise with the same good upbringing we tried on them. Oh, it was tough, no frills, but it was worth it. Yup, I'm not sorry."


"My wife and I like Chinese food, we'd go to a Chinese restaurant anytime we could afford it. Trouble is, I liked to sample everything, gained weight big-time.

Don't do that no more. Age does bad things to the innards, so there's mighty little spicy food I can eat now. I wonder how Asians eat that food all their lives and live to be a hundred? Does the stomach just get used to it? Wish mine did.

But she was a good cook, my wife. Everything from scratch. None of that packaged stuff could hold a candle to her way of making anything. And canning! Everything from pickles to preserves to jellies. No Chinese food, though. She knew her limits."


"Politics! I watched both conventions for about as long as I could stomach all that phony talk, with all those people shaking signs in the air and yelling like silly kids at a backlot ball game. After hearing all those promises impossible to keep - remember two chickens in every pot? Same thing. And mud slinging that makes you think that no one's worth being in the White House or Congress. And with all that money to spend on ads with those half true bites - slick, smooth, oily-talking. Who do they think they're fooling?

They make promises they figure we want to hear, all the while they know they're going to please the lobbyists of their choice; hey, they're out for their own skin first - all professional politicians are - and we get scraps from their table.

I read something clever once about politicians: It's not whether they win or lose, it's how they place the blame. Lincoln wasn't like that. Seems we've got another case where it's not voting for the best man, it's voting for the least of the worst. Maybe I'll just toss a coin..."


"Winter used to be fun, but my Dad hated to see it coming - shoveling the driveway and then driving our Nash in blizzards where you couldn't see past the window wipers. My Mom didn't mind winter much, but it was hard plodding through the snow with armloads of groceries and stuff. She didn't drive, but she helped with the shoveling - until we were old enough to help, and then winter wasn't much fun anymore.

We'd wait for the plows to pile up the snowbanks and then we'd tunnel them out for secret hiding places. And they'd last until they melted in April.

We'd climb up on the porch roof and jump into the snow below. That was fun. I remembered once, I took a leap just when my sister walked out from below, and no matter how I tried, I hit her. Wham, my boots landed on her head and down she went, deep, and couldn't get out. And she was yelling plenty. But by digging hard with our hands, we got her out eventually. She never told on me, but I'll bet she still talks about it, too.

Rotten Tomatoes average: "Finding Nemo," A; "Resident Evil," D; "Hit & Run," C-



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