Opportunity seems to pop up every so often. Where it comes from or why or how it might come along. I just don’t know. Nor really understand. With sixty-seven years of living something strange seems often to prove itself through.
Circles, round ending coming from change opportunity, it seems, some short some decades long to return. I suppose I was seven or eight years old when I tried my first and only newspaper delivery. It was no big deal as my very small hometown had a population of less than a thousand people at the time. So, I only had fifteen or twenty customers and The Grit Newspaper was bi-weekly as I remember it. They captured young people like me with comic book ads offering a whole page of toys and prizes plus cash for selling their papers.
It didn’t take long though to learn I’d probably never acquire those dream toys, like potato guns or see through wall glasses, and such wonderful gadgets as telescopes and electric trains that made smoke come from the engine shoot. My poor old mom was a widow and ended up having to make it right with the neighbors until, fortunately, another young guy took my first job over. Well, now I am delivering newsprint again, if you’d call Free The People AK such or compare it somehow like I now do – and so that circle is complete, at lease the part of Me handing out papers.
I like to write for a hobby and read much but mostly on the internet now, the reading that is. I started doing a few comments there but only to see them disappear, or so it seems. Local too, I write a “Letter to the Editor” that never get published nor even acknowledged. Letters to Governors and Senators also that go unanswered most of the time too it seems. I still have, in my possession, short return notes from the late Senator Ted Steven and even one or two from then Governor Frank Murkowski.
It was a sad day for me when Ted was cheated out of his office but, of course, far far worse when he lost his life in a plane crash up here. I wasn’t always big on politics. For years I though, as long as they follow the Constitution and Bill of Rights there is only so much harm that they can do, any of them. Now my poor country has multiple serious problems, as I see it.
Potential danger everywhere, ball parks, nightclubs, beaches, military barracks, skyscrapers, trains, footraces, you name it including just driving your car to pick up a pizza. School where once years ago every boy who wanted one would carry his pocket knife all day long there. Now students sneaking in guns to kill teachers and fellow students.
Religions of death, here invited and encouraged into America by forsaking boarders and laws in the name of Marxist Socialist Democracy, in my opinion. Student will only learn about “slavery” in History or Social Studies or Civics, I suppose, little or nothing about the horrendous effects of unshakeable government powers. Children taught nor to work anywhere at young ages except for fast food or cart pushing jobs and even that by permit only until a certain age is reached.
A market flooded with gadgets for games of violence, games of every kind imaginable addicting young people so much that they grow into adult lives of doing little more now other than playing twiddle finger games. Drugs everywhere but possibly the worst of any would be prescription types prescribed for children who don’t quite fit into a given teachers opinion of who and what should be allowed in a classroom.
Perhaps little robots are far easier to teach, give them a backpack full of homework books and assignments enough to burn up every weekend and holiday. Now that’s teaching, isn’t it? Don’t forget the “meds” though. Teachers afraid of touching or being caught alone with a student. Afraid of many subjects in discussion, afraid to step out of line by not following to the letter an agenda provided by the school or government.
And so, it seems to go on, day by day, unending changes and new problems for the country with almost everyone wanting a free ride all the way from birth to college to the grave of old age with free dope and doctors to make it all easy, and lasting, and comfortable. Now this my third change and attempt at a paper article and here I go wasting it on unsolvable problems, as far anyway as I might be able to help resolve or cure any of them, probably just add to it as I choose which side of the line to cross over or stay in.
I watch a lot of YouTube videos now. Some without any really good reason, like “E Waste Ben,” in Melbourne Australia, picking up “hard rubbish” with his van and then going to the scrap yard to sell recyclable metals such as steel, iron, aluminum and so on.
Videos on building stoves of antiquity, some of them anyway, like clay ovens from Africa now being ideas used by Americans for efficiency or fuel recovery such as “gasification” stoves can offer. Or “rocket stoves” on the clay or stone and brick ways of construction. Stoves that offer almost total efficiency with nearly zero emissions or smoke. So much good there on YouTube. So much reality and way of comfort or satisfaction or new abilities there offered freely. Wonderful down-home type people making videos, giving secrets away or new ideas often tried and tested by years of real work and experimentation.
Often, it seems, dreams built out of junk or scraps or long worn-out implements like water tanks, propane cylinders, fire extinguishers, and more and more like using the cool packs in swiped containers of lobster to create a completely new product like a “pizza oven” or a homemade smelter liner. Projects to last lifetime if like me you turn out to be an old “hoarder” with a yard full of everything nobody else wants anymore. Like “fresh lenses” from the big screen T.V.’s that now are obsolete and going away fast to the landfills of life. Imagine, a thin piece of plastic that can magnify the sun enough to melt a rock or set a board on first instantly. A temperature of 3200°can be reached by some of those same lenses.
Now I’ve been scrapping for close to twenty years here in North Pole Alaska. I’ve got good neighbors who drive by my yard full of old guy treasures and don’t try to stop me with my foolishness or addiction, I suppose. Wonderful neighbors who must have grown up watching Mr. Rodgers, maybe. Most of my collection of odds and ends is for sale and much has been sold and at my present age and condition I see most will have to find a new home somewhere and probably sooner than later.
Unfortunately, my wife, sons and daughters have had and have seen enough of it all as I’m still at it, collecting metals to recycle at the scrapyard, most of it anyway (ha ha). I watched a video of an old Hillbilly moonshiner a few night ago. He called himself “Popcorn Sutton”. He was making his last batch of “Licker or Likker”. He said on the video. He went and did just a little bit of hillbilly jig, as I call it, on that video. It was a short but good one. Once, probably about 45 years ago it was a summer weekend and I was drinking beer at the cowboy bar at my hometown in Wyoming. There was a band but they had gone on break. All of a sudden something really strange, for cowboy country anyway, happened. Usually the back door of the bar was locked but not when such a big crowd was there to dance and holler and drink till closing time at two o’clock in the morning. They said he came in the back door kicking and shuffling both arms slapping and doing stuff, I guess I’d say. I didn’t see him come in but I sure heard that bar full of cowboys go silent as that Hillbilly twisted his “Appliations,” (Smokey Mountains) ways of celebration through the bar, by me, then and just as soon ending as he worked his way on out the front door never to be seen again, that I know of. I guess maybe he had enough and decided to show a huge bar full of both rodeo cowboys and working cowboys, and their women how to really celebrate and dance.
There were a few banjos in Wyoming and a few men or women who could play them too, I guess but I remember very few. Some fiddles too but mostly guitars and drums and an occasional whorehouse piano that usually just fathered dust there in the back of the bar. He must have felt the need to show some real action to all those s**t kicking foxtrot cowboys and right then was the time to do that, apparently, who knows, maybe just a little bit of mountain pride. It was the quietest moment I’d ever experienced in that bar, at least during a summer night of beer and belly-busting laffs at whatever foolishness might present itself. But not that one unique moment in time. I looked at the crowd as that Hillbilly kicked and danced his way out of the front door of the cowboy bar.
You could see more shiny whites and dropped jaws right then than at all the dental schools in America combined. It was like all of us had seen a vision of some kind. I would give a hundred dollars for a video of that moment of my younger and wilder days just so I could rewind and enjoy a laff or two, and on top of that once again view some real talent come from so far away, a lifestyle built around and by, just plain old stubbornness to survive back deep in the woods and hollars, I guess they call them. As he quickly passed in front of my barstool I couldn’t help but notice he wasn’t young like me but he wasn’t old either. He must have had some success in life just to make enough dollars to visit Wyoming or, who could ever know his story, especially now. And so, a big circle completes again, I guess. Back to You Tube’s Popcorn Sutten with his little Smokey Mountain jig very limited on his video but then no crowd of cowboys or cowgirls there to impress with his rooster ways of talent and triumph.
The good lord, he made so many different, and unique and gifted people. Some come along and touch you in ways unexpected or undefined at their arrival or departure. Some become friends for life and I guess some potential enemies too but the game must be played with the cards as they come even though the pictures are all the same on the backsides of the deck. Since I have no real agenda here nor any really good reason to try to overload my publishers’ patience with me by ranting on endlessly. I’d bet it’s beyond time this third attempt end with just this.
God bless you all, all of you. How can any man or woman ever know whose life you might enrich or affect or somehow change in some un-thought of or unknown way. I believe that all of us have a purpose of some kind that reaches out into oblivion realms of mystery, perhaps eternal and unchangeable and of some non-monetary value that none of us can stack or count or store away in bank vaults.
Cheers to you, all of you, cheers from an old guy busy reaching back into memory searching for those wonderful freedoms of youth, tennis shoes, mepps spinners, sling shots fish and potatoes cooked by the creek over smoky campfires, then fighting mosquitos all night trying to breathe with the musky old sleeping bag pulled over the face and exposed tender ears.
I lift my cup now and tip it to all of you, many now departed forever, I guess, like Popcorn Sutton, at least from existence on this big green and blue and gray and white ball of human existence. Cheers, people, cheers and god remember you Popcorn.
P.S. Thank you Heather and Chris for this chance to tangle words and thoughts just to enjoy publication and rewards of seeing a little job completed by print of publication. People like both of you made America possible in that the printed page joined countless men and women and ideas, and before then untried possibilities of Government, of by and for The People. Please, whomever might come across Free The People AK, consider an ad or small contribution to Chris and Heathers effort and work.
No, they didn’t pay me to say that! I wouldn’t if they did.