Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: If I May Say So…

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: If I May Say So…

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HEARD FROM. A couple of our town’s luminous citizens have reacted to last week’s excellent (if I say so, myself) column about the similarity between School Crossing Guards and U.S. Navy Boot Camp Company Road Guards.

Renowned Farmer Dennis Ritchie remembers being a School Crossing Guard, and how it made him feel so superior to the kids who trembled and obeyed his commands for when they could or couldn’t cross the road. “You kids stand back.”

Well, maybe this is Dennis’s memory, or maybe it is just me putting crass words in Dennis’s mouth. I have done that on rare occasion. Not just to Dennis, either.

Like me, Dennis lived about a block and a half from the school. It now occurs to me that the nearness of a student’s residence could have been a factor in his selection as School Crossing Guard.

Let’s hope not. For the sake of Dennis’s ego ….. and mine.

We’d rather think that we were chosen because of our sterling leadership qualities, our really good grades for deportment on our report cards, and our spotless juvenile records.

Surprise, I wuz wrong

And boys were NOT the only School Crossing Guards, despite my ignorant, sexist statement to the contrary in last week’s excellent (if I say so, myself) column.

Renowned Banker Carol Mitchell says that not only was she an official School Crossing Guard, she was an official School Crossing Guard in Little Rock. The BIG CITY! Just the thought makes me tremble.

I can only imagine the dangers she faced. Our School Crossing Guard service here was a comparative milk run.

Carol doesn’t dispute my own School Crossing Guard memories, but she clings to the belief that she and her fellow Little Rock School Crossing Guards wore some sort of a fashionable vest instead of the swell reflective over-the-shoulder-and-around-the-waist belt that is fixed so firmly in Dennis’s memory ….. and mine.

Also, she thinks the Little Rock School Crossing Guards may have had nothing more than bright warning flags to get the attention of oncoming maniac traffic, not the snazzy and substantial “STOP” signs I wrote that our School Crossing Guards here were issued in last week’s excellent (if I say so, myself) column.

Carol doesn’t recall — or maybe she is decently hesitant to mention — whether the BIG CITY School Crossing Guards were armed or not, but — after all — we are talking about Little Rock. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Oh, those were exciting times!

If I say so, myself

Exciting, except, of course, for those poor U.S. Navy Boot Camp Company Road Guards marching along in perfect step. Tromp, tromp, tromp ….. about 180 boots in perfect rhythm.

To get to the intersection ahead of the rest of the boot camp company U.S. Navy Boot Camp Company Road Guards had to sprint 50 yards to ‘post,’ and then with just barely enough time to catch their breath, had to run some more just to regain their place in the column.

During all this running they would be carrying a dummy rifle that weighed as much as a real one. It is a sad commentary that there was so little gratitude shown for their efforts.

Also, it was barely mentioned in last week’s excellent (if I say so, myself) column that being an Eraser Duster felt like second place compared to School Crossing Guard. It was like a red ribbon, not blue. The second child. A ‘leaner’ instead of a ‘ringer’ in horseshoes. A low step on the Olympics platform. Watching someone else reach for the last cookie on the platter. You get the idea.

Also, I must mention that experience as an Eraser Duster does not necessarily prepare a young person for a possible sterling public service career as a duly deputized J-Turn Enforcement Czar.

But I’m not through with Eraser Dusters, yet.

Not being chosen School Crossing Guard and, instead, being picked for Eraser Duster was almost the same as getting only an Honorable Mention prize in a newspaper writing contest, or being named Mister or Miss Congeniality in a beauty contest.

It’s nice, but no cigar (being a non-smoker I still do not understand this imagery).

No matter. Being an official Eraser Duster was an important step in the passage from elementary school childhood days to the terrors of junior high school. Once enrolled in junior high, boys weren’t allowed to cry anymore.

But that’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: Bruce Lee was so fast that they actually had to s-l-o-w film down so you could see his moves.

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WORD GAMES. More-than-identical twins: Over and Over. They are repetitive personalities who are often confused by the public because they share the first name. Their last name is Again.

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HE SAID: “Peace is the beauty of life. It is sunshine. It is the smile of a child, the love of a mother, the joy of a father, the togetherness of a family. It is the advancement of man, the victory of a just cause, the triumph of truth.” Menachem Begin, Israel statesman

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SHE SAID: “Even if you’re unhappy, just pretend that you’re happy. Eventually, your smile will be contagious to yourself. I had to learn that. I used to think, ‘I’m being fake,’ but you know what? Better to be fake and happy than real and miserable.” Evangeline Lilly, Canadian author

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby