Oh no, not someone reminding us that the Christmas Holiday is coming soon. No, not really. But football season has started and we all know what that means. Hunting season is here again. I know the temperature is not typical football or Christmas weather. But that is Texas. Just remember on Christmas day when it is a perfect 75 degrees and the New England states are snowed in, how lucky we are to be here.
Hunting season in Texas, and most of the south, is a major event for most sportsmen (and sports... girls.. or whatever they want to be called). It is a time when boys learn to be men and men dress up in all sorts of camo gear... well, like boys. We take our place in the generations of men that have done this same routine for many years, hunting for food and for sport.
A chance meeting with Joyce Stevens Cole and her husband Jim while at church in Abilene a couple of weeks ago brought a flood of precious memories of Joyce’s parents, the late Dr. and Mrs. John C. Stevens. Janelle knew Dr. Stevens when she was a child growing up in Liberty, Texas. He began to be a central character in my life while I was a college student in Abilene Christian in the mid 50s. He was already in the administration of the school at that time, and went on to serve as president and chancellor before his death.
I continue to admire Dr. John as much as anyone I have ever known. He was a master in the business of living and taught me so much about getting along in life. Tucked away in my mind are myriad statements he made in my presence. The following is an unusual sort of quote: “Every man has the right, now and then, to make a fool of himself.”
I’d like to tell you a story about one of the happiest times in my life. It was a time when I learned a lot about elderly and handicapped folks. The term “physically challenged” was not around yet, so I hope not to offend anybody.
After leaving the Army, I didn’t know what career path I wanted to pursue. I moved to Lafayette, La., to search for a job. I picked up the local paper and saw an ad for a new apartment complex that had just opened. They were looking for a security person and an efficiency apartment was included. I thought this was perfect. I would have a free place to live and would work security at night leaving my days free to look for a job.
I have a friend that sorts eras in his life by the vehicle that he owned at the time. I tend to do this as well so I can certainly see how this happens. When we are together the conversation often turns to cars and sometimes the “rabbit trails” we take get us completely off of the original topic. It is easy to relate a specific time in our lives to something memorable, perhaps a car or more often a location. Of course most of us remember our first car or truck. That is a big event and opened up a new world for us, quite often we did some things that really stick in our memories. Some we might want to erase and some we might be glad that no one else knew about.