High points from El Camino Real

by Chris Davis

Folks along El Camino real are gearing up for a big Independence Day and with all the rain we’ve had fireworks shouldn’t be a problem as long as caution is observed. With all the rain we’ve had, I figure the mosquitoes will put a bigger damper on the fireworks at dusk than the weather will. I know I kind of left you folks hanging last week when I didn’t give you your six bits worth of news, but I was out of town and didn’t know if I’d be back in time to find anything out to write about. I did manage to scrape up six bits worth for this week, but it took some doing to find time to get it typed out.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Claud Earl McGaughey on June 19. He was a member of the Alto High School Class of 1957. Claud was 79 years old and lived in Garrison. He loved sports and played football and baseball as an Alto Yellowjacket. I remember Claud’s father Hall McGaughey. He was a nice man. Please keep his family in your prayers as they mourn his passing.
Our friend Tommy “Diller” Selman is very sick. He is in renal failure at this time and they are putting him on dialysis. There are four of those Selman boys and growing up I guess most everybody around my age went to school with or worked with one of them. Lots of fun and laughs, so its sad to think of one of them being so sick. Please keep Tommy and his family in your prayers.
Do you ever do something that causes a memory flashback to your childhood? I did just that on Saturday. I was blessed with an over abundance of sweet corn this year and on Saturday sat down under my carport and started shucking corn. I had about a wheelbarrow full shucked when my wife came out with one of those boards with the blade on it that my aunts used to cut corn off the cob.
I don’t figure most kids today could have even figured out what the instrument was used for. I got a big bowl and commenced to sliding the shucked ears down the board and the juice and kernels went to flying. When the flies started showing up my mind filled with the memories of all my old aunts cutting corn, shooing flies, and boiling the cut corn in big pots on the stove. Putting up fresh corn was a big deal when I was growing up. It did make a mess and the sweetness did attract lots of flies, but it was worth all the effort when you sat down to a big plate of fresh corn, peas, tomatoes, and cornbread.
In fact I conjured up so many good memories with that first wheelbarrow full of corn, that I went and picked another wheelbarrow full and started all over again. I’ve been planning on going on a diet but all these memories keep interfering. I come from a family of good cooks and so when I think of them I think of eating. I hope people don’t think I’m sorry enough to forget about my family just to lose a little weight.
The tornadoes on April 13 popped and whipped my American Flag until it wasn’t looking very good for the Fourth of July so I bought us a new one. When I took the old one down and started looking at all the holes that were ripped in it by the storms, I folded it neatly and stuck in a glass case that holds the Family Bible. Its odd but it seems our Faith and our Patriotism always shine the brightest after they’ve been tested.
I don’t know why I’m getting so excited about the Fourth of July this year but I am. I’m planning to kick it off with the big Fourth of July Parade in Rusk starting at 9 a.m. before it gets hot and wind it up watching some fireworks after dark. In between those two things is going to be lots of eating and enjoying the family. We live in the greatest place on earth, a place that many good people have died fighting for, so show your colors this Fourth of July and be proud.
We went to New York City two weeks ago and I must admit even though I had been there before I was a little nervous. When we landed at the airport, I got my suitcase and headed out the door looking for a taxi. A woman dressed in black with a black scarf wrapped around her head and neck came toward us as I stood there on the sidewalk with a confused look on my face. In a gruff accented voice she said, “What are you looking for?” I said a taxi and she said come with me. I wasn’t born yesterday and I had seen those suicide bombers on TV, so I was hesitant.
The woman said come on and started walking around the corner of the building, and I followed. As I rounded the corner another man of Middle Eastern descent stepped out from behind a concrete column and asked me what I needed. I told him a taxi and he said come on. The woman that was leading us turned around and got me by the arm and told me not to go with this guy he was bad. Here I was without so much as a pocket knife dragging a heavy suitcase through a scene from The Arabian Nights.
After a little bit further the lady pointed to a bus that took me to a place to catch a cab. The lady in black was just a nice lady trying to help a stranger in her city. On the way home a guy with a pony tail sat down beside us on the plane and when he started talking, I knew by his accent that he wasn’t from around here. I asked him where he was from and he said Australia. We got to talking and he said that he loved it here in America.
I told him that I never had much use for Australians after the way they treated Matthew Quigley in “Quigley Down Under”. He had a strange look on his face and then he burst out laughing and said, “Oh Quigley”. He said they cut the “down under” part in the title for Australia. Nice guy! I wish I could have talked to him longer, I would have asked some questions about Crocodile Dundee. I guess that is the problem with living in a small town where you don’t get to meet very many different kinds of people. The only way you can figure out who you are supposed to hate is by watching television and sometimes they don’t always get it right. I’m glad to be back on El Camino Real where I belong.
When you get through reading this issue spread the paper out and cut a big watermelon on it. The paper will soak up the juice just as fast as your brain absorbed all the knowledge I imparted on you in this issue. Have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!
I’ll see ya next week! And remember, If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.