Our language is continually evolving. With each edition of dictionaries come new words and their definitions. Words or phrases unheard of a year or two ago are very common now. Some words or phrases are used to fill in gaps while the speaker is trying to decide what to say next. One that hasn’t changed over the years is “you know.” For some reason this phrase is very common with coaches and athletes. Thankfully, most of these distracting “buzz words/phrases” fall by the wayside and don’t hang around as long as “you know.” Do you remember when “at this point in time” could be heard every few minutes? As I have watched CNN a lot lately I can’t keep but being aggravated by a new and much overused phrase, “Thank you so much.” What ever happened to the simple, “Thank you?” Most of the interviews begin with the commentator thanking somebody “so much” for being on the interview and at the conclusion the person is thanked “so much” for answering the questions. Las Vegas is currently giving 5-2 odds that “Thank you so much” will be used at least once in each CNN interview. At this point in time, you know, I want to, you know, thank you so much, you know, for reading this and, you know, I hope you don’t get distracted each time you hear somebody begin or end an interview with, “Thank you so much.” (Each time Jean texts me she ends with “Thank you so much.”)
While I was headed to the lake last week there was a crew at Morgan Baker’s house on CR 1180 south of Charleston. Several guys were out in the yard and proper country etiquette requires stopping a few minutes and discussing the world situation. Glendal Blevins was there and asked me why we say, “bar ditch.” Some folks can’t say ditch without using the prefix, bar. Not every ditch is a bar ditch. A natural gully is not a bar ditch. When we say “bar ditch” we are really trying to say “borrow ditch.” Somebody has used a dragline or bulldozer to move, or borrow, dirt from the ditch to form an elevated levee or road. So a ditch isn’t a bar ditch unless it is beside a road or levee. (Unless maybe a ditch was dug and trucks hauled the soil away, borrowing it to be used for some purpose.) Glendal, thank you so much for asking.
Son in law and daughter, Jason and Sheila, invited us to a BBQ in Texarkana Saturday afternoon. Coincidently, about noon I talked to Mark Keys (delivers ice to Rick Murray BBQ) at the fish cleaning station and he said the shad were really thick at the wide open spillway at the Texarkana (Wright Patman) Lake. My little brain got to working. Maybe we could go to the BBQ a little early and stop at the spillway to catch shad. I called around and everyone was agreeable. A spillway is a fine place for people watching. Game wardens agree. At the spillway we used a cast net and soon filled two ice chests with shad up to a foot long. Most were four to six inches. Once or twice it took two of us to pull the net up the steep wall. With each throw we would also catch channel catfish, crappie, yellow bass, and drum that had to be sorted out and thrown back. People beside us begged for the crappie and catfish but you are not allowed to keep game fish caught with a cast net. Grandson Archer and his friend Brantley were also along. Hey Jason and Sheila, thank you so much for inviting us to the BBQ.
While I was in the sixth grade at East Delta we lived just west of the school. On our west side was the Eutah Chandler place, now where Gary Gross lives. There was a big elm tree at the northeast corner of our house. Little boys are gonna climb. In several places there were no limbs to help my ascent so I drove nails into the mighty tree. One big limb went high and to the north. This would be my goal. A two foot long, two by six board was carried as high as possible to form my perch. From there I could see all the way to Pacio seemed like. Diagonally across from our house lived Kay Click. When you were in the sixth grade did you have a crush on someone? On the two by six board I carved, “Eddie plus Kay.” Although she lived northeast, I was somehow attracted to the southeast. Something seemed to be calling me there. What was it? Could it be the Leonard Ranch where I would later have great fun breaking colts and penning cattle? Was it Florida where I checked into, and turned down, and ag teaching job. What would life have been like had I accepted the job? Was it Shreveport where I like to go? Maybe the Mississippi River. Years later a lot had changed. My brother and I were doing tree trimming as a part time job. Opal Watkins in 1987 lived in that house with the big elm and its two by six board. The old limb was about to fall. Tuesday, May 12, 1987, Miss Opal called us to cut it down. Did those rusty nails finally kill it? While cutting the big limb into smaller pieces I had to change the chain on my saw due to hitting some of those old nails.
An Army base was having a training program about their new computers that could withstand earthquakes and nuclear bombs. Before the program they explained there would be no eating or drinking around those computers. Seems like coffee or crumbs could destroy the keyboard.
Have a good weekend and “thanks so much.”