February Ramblings

* My baby boy would have been 33 today. I still frequently talk to him and find him only slightly less communicative, as he wasn’t much for small talk in life, at least not with his family. He wasn’t that way with friends, though. It was like he found us comparatively boring, which is odd to me, as I thought we were at least almost interesting. How could anyone who has been to prison be boring? It may sound strange, but he has spoken to me since his death 5 years ago. Maybe that occurred when I was in one of those “thin places” that the ancient Celts observed where there is but scant distance between my mortal world and the immortal world I’ve yet to fully comprehend. I wish I were able to find these places more often so he could talk to me, but my sense is that the harder I try to find them, the less my chance. My wife says that thin places occur when our need to hear collides with our desire to listen, and she’s definitely onto something. I hope you will take a moment to remember Walton today by watching this.

* In life, I could always count on Walton to send me the latest weird thing that someone had done, written or said. I miss that. It’s one of the thousand things I miss about him. Thankfully, I’m living in Austin now which is where weird proudly relocates. I stumbled across something recently which Walton would have loved. It’s the perfect gift for the affluent narcissist and is called Mobile Hydration and Vitamin Therapy. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you go out partying, ingest various substances into your body and get wasted or as we say in north Louisiana, snot-slingin-drunk. No doubt, the next morning is going to be rough. Well, not anymore! That’s because you can now schedule an IV that contains vitamins and minerals and other stuff to help alleviate the hangover. Of course it would be much healthier, not to mention cheaper, to simply not get hammered in the first place; but this is Austin, the capital of the First World. But wait, it gets even weirder. You have to schedule the IV in advance, which means you have to be premeditatedly hungover. So could you now feel guilty about not getting wasted because you further wasted money on an IV you didn’t need? That’s weird.

* I’ll miss Austin very much when I leave it tomorrow for my new home in Knoxville, Tennessee. I’ll miss my granddaughter Charlotte. I do love that girl. I’ve certainly been covered with love and support from my kids and my church while here, and I’ll miss that dearly, too. But I’m looking forward to the next chapter with great anticipation. Who knows, maybe some more thin places will appear.

* Speaking of Tennessee, one of my political heroes is the late US Senator Howard Baker (Rep-TN) who was the ranking minority member of the Senate Committee charged in 1974 with investigating President Nixon’s involvement in the break-in at the Watergate Hotel and its subsequent cover up. While his famous line, “What did the President know and when did he know it?” was said at a time when he actually thought Nixon was not involved, as evidence began to prove otherwise, he decided to “put his head down… and let the facts fall where they will.” He did this even though it meant the ultimate removal of a President from his own party. I was reminded about that during the recent Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump and wonder if this might have been such a moment for Sen. Mitt Romney (Rep-UT). He has certainly been vilified much more than Baker was, but we do live in the age of vilification. I guess time will tell for Romney. It usually does.