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Archive for July, 2012

The Green Thing

Someone sent me this in an email. I thought it worth sharing:

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

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Andy Griffith

I guess I encountered Andy Griffith when I was nine or ten years old.  I heard his 1953 monologue, “What It Was,  Was Football,” and it cracked me up.  When, in 1958, Andy Griffith starred in No Time For Sergeants and Onionhead (I more enjoyed the former), I was hooked.  Andy’s stint in No Time For Sergeants as Permanent Latrine Orderly (PLO) inspired me when, after a minor injury in Basic training, I held that post while recuperating.  (I couldn’t make the toilet seats snap to attention, however.) Beginning in 1960, and for the next eight years or so, I was a regular viewer of The Andy Griffith Show and a regular visitor as well to Mayberry, North Carolina, a small town whose friendliness and general good will were of mythic proportions.  Mayberry was the epitome of the ideal of Small Town America.  Nothing crude or lewd in any of it, and it’s a shame that today’s sitcoms are lesser in so many ways.

His widow said, “Andy was a person of incredibly strong Christian faith and was prepared for the day he would be called Home to his Lord,”

“He is the love of my life, my constant companion, my partner, and my best friend. I cannot imagine life without Andy, but I take comfort and strength in God’s grace and in the knowledge that Andy is at peace and with God,” she added.”

We’ll miss you, Andy, until we join you in His presence.

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