Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm Proud of My Humility...

The dictionary sums up “vain pride” as an undesirable trait while “humility” is desirable.

After thinking this over I am ready to announce that, “I am proud of my humility and I’ll tell you why.”

I am proud that I grew up in Beaumont. I am even more proud that I grew up in South Park. In the 1940s and 1950s, South Park was a great place to live. Even though I am proud of this, I view it with humility.

I am proud that I took swimming lessons at the downtown Y.M.C.A. on Calder Ave. I ended up becoming a lifeguard and I took pride in that.

I am proud that I sold Cokes at Stuart Stadium for the Beaumont Exporter baseball games during the late 1940s. I met so many famous athletes including, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Gil McDougald, Rogers Hornsby, Pee Wee Reese, and Roy Capanella. It never occurred to me to seek their autographs.

I am proud that I played outfield for Beaumont Motor Company’s (Chevrolet Dealer) summer league team. Our team won the city championship. Our championship game took place on the South Park High School baseball field. The final out of that game was a fly ball into left field which I caught. I pocketed the ball and now it sits on my home office desk. Our regional playoff game in Stuart Stadium was played against a Houston championship team. Houston beat us 4 to 0. I was proud, but humbled.

I am proud that I attended the Saturday morning Organ Club at the Jefferson Theater. One time, Bruce Fairchild with his clarinet along with me and my trombone performed as a jazz duo in a talent contest. We won first place and earned 3 passes each from the theater manager.

I am proud that the Pipkin Street Gang and I saw “picture shows” on Saturday afternoons at the Lamar Theater.

I am proud to have been an usher at the Jefferson Theater during the early 1950s.

I am proud of hanging out with my buddies and girlfriends at the Pig Stand No. 10, located on Washington Blvd. at the Port Arthur Road. In fact I have a print of that Pig Stand drawn by Beaumont artist, Randy Welborn.

I am proud to have attended the South Park Church of Christ, first located on the corner of Elgie and Irving Streets and then in 1948 moving over to our new building on Highland Ave. and Threadneedle. You may know that music in the Churches of Christ is a capella. On occasion we would have religious organ music chime in over our public address system, compliments of the Highland Avenue Baptist Church that was located one block south of our church building. We teenagers would snicker when that happened. Our elders did not snicker.

I am proud to have started my educational pursuits at Giles Elementary, then MacArthur Jr. High School and finally graduating from South Park High School in 1953. I have so many memories to share and so many stories to tell about my beautiful days in Greenie Land. I am thankful that Greenie Spirit will never die. Shallow thinking can cause the demolition of a beautiful historic building but you cannot demolish a Spirit.

I am proud of a slogan I made up years ago, “They are not making any more Greenies. That makes us collectors’ items.” Since then, several have used this expression in their writings.

I am proud to have smelled Taystee Bread baking, Tex-Joy/Seaport Coffee roasting, the Sulphur Plant, Magnolia Refinery, and Spindletop Oil Field. All at the same time.

I am proud of so many things about growing up in Beaumont, but foremost…

I am proud of my humility.

Winston Hamby

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Ad It Up...

A few months ago I wrote about my new hobby. In case you missed that article, I wrote about collecting unusual classified ads and news items. Since moving from Houston to Little Rock, I read the daily Arkansas Democrat – Gazette, a fine state-wide publication printed in Little Rock. This newspaper has the largest classified ad section in all of Arkansas. This fact alone is why I read mainly the classifieds.

My favorite ad from that first column was, “Jack Terrier for sale. Very friendly. Not good with chickens.” I still wonder what must have taken place between this dog and those chickens. Whatever it was probably is why the Jack Terrier was for sale.

Since that first column printed, I have saved up additional new ads to share with you.

“Roosters (5), free, 6 mos old. Just bring something to put them in.” I can just envision someone going out to pick up those roosters without something to put them in. Can you see some guy driving along in a car with 5 frantic roosters spreading feathers and perhaps other substances all over the interior?

How about this gem, “Wanted, FREE goat, female, needed to keep lonely horse company.”
Perhaps you know something that I don’t. But how is a free goat going to help a lonely horse feel more in touch with society? This bears some research.

I still am puzzled by this one, “For Sale, Donkies, all sizes and colors.” I do not mind that the ad misspelled “Donkeys” but I do worry about those donkeys. Does the seller spray them the color you request? I thought about going to buy one with a red head and chartreuse legs.

Here’s another one I question, “Elderly man in need of Quartz canning jar, free or cheap.”
Now my question is this, “Is this elderly man in need of a free or cheap Quartz canning jar or is he looking for free or cheap Quart canning jars?? I know that if I had some Quartz canning jars, I would not part with them for free or cheap.

Then there’s this one, “House, you can have it if you tear it down.” Does this puzzle you like it does me? Think about it. A free house. That sounds great but wait a minute. If you tear it down, you don’t have a house. What you will have is a pile of stuff that you have agreed to haul away for free.

And what does this mean? “(2) nice white suburban passengers, doors, 1999 model, reasonable.” I think he wants to sell two nice white doors for a 1999 model suburban. Or could he be selling two nice white suburban passengers like the ad reads? And I guess he is just throwing in the doors.

Now here is an interesting note. “Join us on May 5 for Cinco de Mayo.” I wonder what the date is for this event.

Here is a puzzling news item: “I was very careful after we arrested Mr. Fitzpatrick not to say that we were out looking for a second suspect,” Chief Danny Bradley said Monday during an interview in his office. “I said we were out looking for a second suspect. Some of the news media—on television, on the Internet—reported that we were out actively looking for someone, but that’s not what I said. I felt we had to identify this person because I didn’t want the public to be misled about what’s going on.” Now then, either the Chief mis-spoke or the newspaper misquoted the Chief. At any rate, I think I was misled.

As Alexander Pope said, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”

Winston Hamby