The Odd Pot

‘Touch me, Lord!’

THIS VIDEO, made in 1965, is very interesting to an old Southern boy like myself. From 1945 to 1951, I lived on my grandparents’ farm in southwest Georgia. Those grandparents were born in the late 1800s.

In 1951, my parents, my sister and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, but we often returned to visit the farm. My mother was my maternal grandparents’ only child, and they were thick as the proverbial thieves.

My youth spanned the years between the old way of Southern life and the Civil Rights Era that exploded in the late ’50s and into the 1960s. I remember well when blacks sat in the rear of buses, went to “separate but equal” schools and had to kowtow to varying degrees before white people, including my young self.

My grandparents had two black servants who were a part of my early life almost as much as my grandparents were. It was a couple named Willie and Cap Williams. Willie was the housekeeper, and Cap was the gardener and handyman.

The earliest house I remember where Willie and Cap lived was a decrepit shack about half a mile down the dirt road from my grandparents’ large home. My grandparents were the owners of the shack. Around 1958, my grandparents built a new home for Willie and Cap that was directly across the street from our main house. It was a simple wooden affair but a huge improvement over the shack. The bath was indoors.

In the early 1960s, both Willie and Cap died in that house, first Willie and then Cap whom my father found one day lying on the floor. I don’t know the circumstances of Willie’s earlier demise. Both Willie and Cap were buried in the “Negro Cemetery” a few miles down that same dirt road.

Many years later, I went looking for that cemetery. I found it in a forest, covered in weeds, but I never found the graves of either Willie or Cap.

Looking back, I see a boy and later a very young man who took them for granted, so much so that I know nothing of their history or personal backgrounds even though we considered them almost part of our family.

Now I realize they were like part of the furniture, and that saddens me. Their graves are gone. They had no children. I suspect the people who remember them now can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The video seems very familiar to me. In the black church near the video’s end, they’re singing, “Touch me, Lord.” I hope God is touching Willie and Cap. Lord knows we didn’t, not very well, not back then.

The Odd Pot

Atheists are Mohammedans

THESE TWO GROUPS have lots in common. Atheists and Mohammedans.

They both want to stamp out opposing religions, and they can get downright nasty about it too. What? you say. Atheism is not a religion? Sure, it is.*

Atheism states there is no God, which means they know what happens after death in spite of having not a shred of evidence. Their belief is based on faith alone, which makes it a religion. Tell an atheist he’s a man of faith. It’ll really gall him, which is fun.

Mohammedans want to kill those who do not embrace their religion. Atheists don’t go that far, not yet, but they are ever campaigning to have opposing religions suppressed. They want all manifestations of other religions erased from the public sphere.

Note to atheists: If you oppose organized religion, there is only one logical way to do it, and that’s to embrace agnosticism. It’s not a religion because it does not claim to know what happens after death. Agnosticism accepts cluelessness.

Agnosticism is the only rational opposition to religion. If you’re an atheist, you might as well build cathedrals, appoint clergy and invent a Holy Book.

Some saints would be nice too.

* * * *

* Not all atheists are like this. Quite a few are fine people, minding their own business. Let us liken them to gays. Many of them are good people, but many want to put bakeries out of business out of pure spite and meanness.

The Odd Pot

Challenges of an aging carcass

AT 73, I FIND myself faced with challenges.

bodyGetting older is an interesting process. I do not recommend it, but it is interesting. It only recently began to pummel me. That began at 73. It will, of course, vary with other individuals.

Up until 73, there were physical changes, but they were almost entirely a reduction in energy, nothing extreme but noticeable. I passed my 73rd in August, and that’s when things racheted up a few nasty notches.

First the foot problem, which I wrote about last September. That appears to be permanent. It’s only an issue for about a minute after I stand up after being seated a spell, but I’ll never again be able to flee from someone or something chasing me. With an ax or an appetite.

I am easily nabbed now.

Then there was the back issue, which I wrote about last month. Not the first time I’ve suffered that problem, but it’s never lasted so long, a tad over two weeks of Hell. Usually, it self-cures in four to five days. Big difference.

It was the back issue that knocked me upside the head.

I had been getting lazier by the day, and that needed to change.

For decades, I’ve done regular, moderate exercise, and I eat healthy. For these reasons I have been svelte for almost 40 years. But my regular, moderate exercise had been very gradually diminishing. I knew I had to change my habits.

Old routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday. I often cheated on the frequency. And I have a home gym set, a big fancy one I bought about decade ago. I was doing a 10-minute weight routine three mornings a week. Again, cheating was not unknown.

New routine: 20-minute, brisk, morning walk around the neighborhood plaza Monday-Friday with no more cheating on the frequency. A second brisk walk around the big plaza downtown following my afternoon coffee. Weight routine on the gym set every weekday morning. No cheating allowed. Yoga. Well, that’s what I call it, but it’s actually two sets of stretching, one in the morning, one in the late afternoon. Weekends off.

I was losing my flexibility to a notable degree. Thus the stretching, which helps a lot.

I’ll close now with the following words from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The “good night” being, well, you know …

The Odd Pot

Bradley/Chelsea seeks to be a senator

AMERICA IS ON a downward trajectory. It began with Flower Power in the 1960s, worsened when the Soviet Union collapsed, which removed all need for national worry, and today the spoiled country drifts with no moral compass.

Many Americans still possess compasses, but the nation as a whole is adrift.

Now we have Bradley Manning, who calls himself Chelsea Elizabeth these days, running for public office. Manning has been convicted of espionage, which often results in a firing squad, and he is a severely troubled individual, something that’s clear by the tone of this grim campaign spot.

And that’s all I’m gonna say about it. Draw your own conclusions.