Thursday, January 26, 2012


A Fine day to You

Supper Talk
At home in the 1940’s when I was growing up, supper was the last meal of the day. I believe it is referred to as dinner at the present. The talk was usually about daily occurrences such as school, crops and etc. There was also table etiquette which meant your hands were clean, you set up straight in the chair and no elbows on the table and no subject was discussed that would turn the stomach. These were good rules to follow.
Fast forward to the Twenty First Century and things have changed. It is not unusual for me to turn on the television at supper time and watch the local and national news, especially since the children grew up and left home. At best during each half hour program there are about fifteen minutes of news and the rest is a bombardment of commercials, representing an irritating array of drug products. Most commercials are loud, abrasive and the contents are often inappropriate to watch during mealtime. Serenity pads are explained, reducing the leaking of bodily fluids and constipation is discussed proclaiming the natural wonders of a patent medicine that will reduce the prolonged discomfort of irregularity. Viagra of course is among the products flashed across the screen with romantic music in the background with a couple sitting in bathtubs on a hill overlooking a valley. Cholesterol is portrayed graphically with scenes of a high toned man or woman about to succumb to the destructive force of blockage in an artery. Butterflies float above sleeping people and leave at dawn insuring a goodnight’s sleep. Inhalers representing hay fever, colds and asthma flash across the screen. Pills for bone strength or loss show someone climbing a mountain. All of these commercials nearly always end with the statement, “ask your doctor,” including the infamous Purple Pill.
What has happened to the human race? Anyone after learning about the advertised products should take a couple minutes when asking a doctor about a particular medication and if there are any disabling side effects and weigh the odds against a debilitating occurrence happening. This is not to say that many people suffer from conditions that warrant some medication, but to offer it at such a grand scale is suspicious to me at least.
My wife and I while in a restaurant one morning sat behind an elderly man who while waiting for his order to arrive, carefully placed on the table sixteen pills of assorted colors and size and then one by one he placed them in his mouth and sipped some water. I have wondered if he had only one ailment and was taking the pills to counteract side effects of the side effects of the side effects of the side effects of the first one. This is not to say the man needed all the pills, but I know a few people who have been forced into such a scenario. On fellow after taking popular cholesterol medicine, along with blood pressure and blood thinner medication experienced devastating side effects and was permanently crippled and forced to retire on disability. He is no longer on any of the above medications, but remains disabled.
Many of the medications seen on the airways and in magazines and newspapers are patent products not unlike those in the 1940’s and 1950’s. They remain untested for the most part and some do relieve itchy skin or rashes, but I think the buyer should beware and seek the advice of a trusted physician.
A man of ninety plus years after being involved in an automobile wreck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. He returned home with several prescriptions to fill. After a week or so of taking the medication he became senile, chasing the devil from his yard each day. He was taken to a nursing home and from that time on his health rapidly declined. They took away his cigarettes, a smoker of eighty years, a man of endless energy and sound mind.
The hospitals and medical centers are perhaps second only to prisons in growth. Health is a number one business in the country, (and rightly so) but from the time of birth until death, people are encouraged to take medication. For the most part a headache is no longer treated with an aspirin, but drugs that have deadly side effects. We are a nation of people it seems, unwilling it seems to be uncomfortable and turn to some kind of pill to sleep, to walk, run and play.
We are living longer and I believe most people who live long are watching what they eat, enjoy using their brain and keeping active. Medicine has undoubtedly helped many to live longer, but it must be regulated and not overdone. I am sure it is tempting to medicate every discomfort, but after all life is uncomfortable most of the time but exhilarating. Adios

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pecking Order

My First Painting for 2012

Pecking Order
By Ronnie Powell
I learned early in life as most people do there is a system by which we are supposed to adhere to and it is the pecking order. Not only humans are affected by this, but animals as well. It is apparently an important trait within all societies or groups, both human and nonhuman and perhaps an inherent aspect in many life ways. It is in my opinion in some humans it may reflect insecurities, selfishness, down right meanness or an inflated ego. In humans it is a class issue that for the most part is accepted and even admired, or at least outwardly. The primitive and literal art of pecking can be observed quite easily in a flock of chickens, a bit more sophisticated in hogs and more graceful in horses but often still are very cruel acts.
There are many instances of which I will for the most part relate to in this writing. Some are sad events; others are humorous and so on. I remember a particular day when a man driving a very expensive car came into my shop where I do my woodcarvings and paintings. He stood for a moment or two in a very elegant looking suit and asked the price of one or two carvings. I politely informed him of what I sold them for. He picked up the one he favored and observed it more closely and set it down and asked me to come down a on the price.
I said no and explained to him the amount of time involved in the piece. I good naturedly said that I was charging only for the time I spent creating the carving and it, (the carving was free).
The man scowled and appeared to swell a bit. “I tell you what,” he replied sarcastically and reached for his wallet and laid a few bills on the counter. “I have here some real money, I doubt if that happens much around here. It is yours for the carving.”
I looked at that man of whom was pecking at me and shook my head in disgust and said to him quite calmly. “Over the years I have sold many carvings and painting to folks and gave away a few to folks who couldn’t afford them. I like sharing what I do with everyone and if possible I see to it that they leave with something of mine. I say to you Mister, pick up your real money and leave as quickly as you can.”
The man stared at me in disbelief, grunted something and then turned and rather noisily left the building.
There was another time while working for the Missouri Department of Conservation, I observed a young man who appeared to be crippled very badly and could not speak clearly. (I later learned the fellow had Cerebral-palsy. He was standing in the middle of a bridge that spanned Bennett Spring Stream and people were laughing at him darting around him as he stumbled along trying to get to the stream. He was babbling or so it sounded. No one made an attempt to help or to try and understand what he was to say say.
I quickly went to where he was standing and could see he was very distressed. I ask if I could help him and he pointed to a fishing rod lying at his feet. I picked it up and he grasped it tightly in his hand and stumbled away. I called out and he stopped and I asked again if I could help and he smiled the best he could and nodded. I listened closely, very closely to what he was saying and was surprised at what I understood. He had been advised by his mother to wait until she could help him to the stream, (they were camped in the park), but being an independent fellow, he said he could take care of himself.) “I think I made a mistake. People are making fun of me.”
I suggested he follow me back across the bridge to a place below the hatchery where he could fish without much difficulty. I left him there having the time of his life. He came with his mother several times after that and upon seeing me; he would run as fast as he could to shake my hand. The next season came and he did not return again and after a time I assumed I had seen the last of him.
While attending a school near the farm where I grew up, (a one room school house), there were nearly all of us that attended the school, poor people, however two of the girls were from well to do families. Their pecking order was not of their own accord and none hostile. It was simple, they carried lunches in fancy pails and on several occasion I was able to see what they were eating. I could only determine the bread was store-bought, but the contents of the sandwiches remained a mystery. Each girl usually had a large orange or a huge shiny red apple, where as in my lunch pail it contained a smaller home grown apple from our orchard and a couple of biscuits containing fried eggs and a huge piece of molasses cake. On the other hand the girls had a store bought cake wrapped in plastic. They were beautiful looking cakes, like big snowballs. I could only imagine what those cakes and dainty sandwiches tasted like.
One day while following the two girls around the building, one of them stopped and waited for me to catch up. “Ronnie,” she asked timidly. “Would you like to eat your lunch with us today?” I blushed I am certain as red as beet and nodded and then followed the girl to a spot under a big hickory tree. I was rather self conscious as I removed the oil paper from my fried egg sandwich.
The girl who had invited me to dine with them said to me, “Mother always sends too much for me to eat, would you take one of my sandwiches?”
At last, I thought I would find out what those sandwiches contained. “Oh I suppose,” I replied.
I slowly removed the dainty wrapping, fascinated by the crust less bread and not wanting to look greedy, I bit off a small bite. “This is delicious, what cut of beef is the meat?” I asked innocently.
Both girls giggled and looked at me in disbelief. “Oh Ronnie your kidding,” the girl answered, It’s just bologna. You don’t have to eat it.”
But too late, for I had poked the rest of the sandwich into my mouth and later informed my brother and a friend of the tasty tidbit and said to them it was the finest cut of beef I had ever eaten. Adios

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A new year ahead

The Windyville Community Building, an old landmark in town

Fort Albert and Captian Redoak


Winter came for a few days with snow and bone chilling winds. Only two months of winter to go, I hope. My last three paintings of 2011 are posted here and I'm looking forward to others as the year proceeds on. I am still working on two books I hope to finish this year and eventually have published. I am also going to put one of my books on e-b00k,( Life Along the Dousinberry) and see what happens. Adios

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prince Edward and Miss Gray

Prince Edawrd singing a love song to Miss Gray

A very happy Miss Gray, with Prince Edaward

The story of Prince Edward and Miss Gray were residents of Windyville for a short time. It may not seem possible for two chickens, a rooster and hen to be the characters of a love story, but they are. It all began one spring day when they along with five other chicks were brought into town by one of the human residents. They were kept for a awhile in a cage, but soon the chickens grew too large and they were turned loose to forge on their own. They joined an old rooster that also ran loose. For several days they did alright, scratching for food along the road and in my yard. Two of the flock was run over by an automobile along the road and then the old rooster was attacked and carried away to be eaten, possible by a raccoon. Another young hen was also run over by an automobile. Four young chickens were left including Prince Edward, a fine looking red rooster. For a time the flock wandered about scrounging for food along the road, my yard and a small nearby pasture. But alas two more hens were run over and died. Miss Gray and Prince Edward were all that was left of the original flock. Prince Edward discovered another flock of chickens not far away and began working his way toward them, followed by Miss Gray. The two became very close and soon she was laying eggs each morning while Prince Edward guarded her. Miss Gray was his only possession and he cared for her very much, however being a rooster he needed more hens and stubbornly kept getting closer to the flock of chickens nearby.

The rooster of the nearby flock came out to meet Prince Edward and they fought, with Edward turning and running away. Prince Edward was just too young to beat the older rooster. And so it was at this point in time I decided to capture the pair and send them off to another place where there are lots of chickens. Miss Gray was easily caught and put in a cage. Prince Edward was now a fugitive and grief stricken by the loss of Miss Gray. He searched every where for her and attempted to go to the nearby flock, but I ran him off. One evening several days later he was caught and put in the cage with Miss Gray he immediately began singing to her.

A couple of days later Prince Edward and Miss Gray arrived at their new home, where turkeys, ducks and lots of chickens were there to great them, none to kindly I must say. The story does not end here, for Miss Gray left Prince Edward and he found other hens that would follow him. Oh, by the way, last I head Prince Edward had whipped all the other roosters and is now the king of the barnyard. Adios.