Published in The Lebanon Democrat Tuesday, October 14, 2014. The accompanying photo of Dirty Harry was a three-column job at the top of the op-ed page. In addition to being a great “Director of Content” (or Editor as old folks would call him) for a local newspaper, Jared Felkins has some great ideas.
SAN DIEGO – As I write on Saturday, autumn is in the air in the Southwest corner, even though the air is quite a bit different from the autumn air back home.
I have fond memories of autumn about there then and here now. One of the definitions of “potpourri” found in the “Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary is a mixture of dried petals of roses or other flowers with spices, kept in a jar for their fragrance. My wife makes a potpourri up frequently. I associate them with the turning leaves back home. Another definition is a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts.
This weekend, I find my mind filled with such autumn recollections, anchored by one event in particular.
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My computer forecast predicted rain for the Castle Heights Homecoming, but the photos I’m seeing show even if there was some rain, it did not deter the reunions. The Castle Heights Homecoming is unique.
Each year, I’ve haven’t attended because of Southwest corner commitments. I greatly regretted missing the 2012 homecoming, my class’ 50th reunion. My memories of my four years on the hill are most poignant when autumn rolls around. It was a wonderful time of year. The annual celebration is a great way to remember.
All of the CHMA alumni owe thanks to all of the cadets who turned the old library into the Heights museum, and especially Rob and Susan Hosier who have been the main drivers of bringing our memories alive.
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In the rush to meet a deadline – not really: I am, after all, the great procrastinator, and without my mother, Estelle Jewell, my resident history resource – I did not include two of my father’s main fishing partners in a recent column. Glen Bishop and Gwen Baird went on many fishing trips with Jimmy Jewell. As with everyone else who fished with him, they considered him a friend and a good man.
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Returning from San Francisco, I marveled at the beauty of the land here outside the cities. We avoided interstates as much as possible, driving along splendid vistas of shoreline, hills, and the agriculture world of the mid-coastal area.
Once away from the hubbub, this is a beautiful place. It is different from Tennessee but just as beautiful. Every time I am in the California hills, I am reminded of the scenery in “One-Eyed Jacks” starring Marlon Brando and Karl Malden.
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Another advantage of the Southwest corner is timing. College football games begin televising at 9:00 a.m., NFL games begin at 10:00. Except for events on the left coast, night baseball and football games usually are completed by 10:00 p.m. All of the scores of sporting contests are in the morning newspaper. Amateur baseball is played year round. Still, I prefer to watch Vandy and Tennessee sports events in person.
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On Friday night in Albuquerque, San Diego State’s football team dropped favored New Mexico, 24-14. The Aztecs rushed for 397 years with Donnell Pumprhey scoring two touchdowns and 246 yards. Pumphrey’s 93-yard rushing touchdown was reminiscent of LSU’s Billy Cannon’s 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in 1959. But the Aztec’s run took me back to a much closer comparison: A much better and clearer image is Clifton Tribble cutting through the line for the Blue Devils in the early 1950s. I can see him cutting left, then right, and outrunning the entire defense. Pumphrey’s run was that good.
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I have come to agree with Clint Eastwood, as Dirty Harry in “Magnum Force. I laughed at the line for years, thinking it could be an excuse for doing nothing.
Then on Saturday, Maureen returned from her yoga class and proclaimed, “Look, I learned to do the side crow today.”
Thinking her a bit daffy but wishing to show support, I asked her to show it to me. She did.
She has been practicing yoga for a long time and began going to a class almost daily since her retirement four years ago. I recognize yoga would be good for me at my age but have crafted great excuses to avoid. No more.
I cannot adequately describe the pose Maureen accomplished, but if I tried it I would look like a pretzel after it had been run over by a steam roller.
I now know what Dirty Harry meant when he stated, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”