Wednesday, November 26
Tuesday, November 11
Buddy is four years my senior. He looks like he is 20 years my junior. I suppose this is somehow God's intended retribution for my having mentally tormented him while I evolved from early childhood to "know-it-all" teenager. Buddy and I have not always seen eye-to-eye on various topics of mutual interest and concern. But his friendship (and his love) is too important to me to allow basically minute differences of ideologies to mar or deflate a friendship that I hold as dear as any earthly treasure. Nonetheless, I still think that God likes Buddy better than me...if one considers that his hair is only now beginning to show the slightest hint of gray. Tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor.
In the picture Buddy is standing beside the newly erected memorial signage commemorating where Scotts School once stood. Before the days of rapid influx of population to this part of rural North Carolina, Scotts was a school that educated the children of the surrounding community from first through the twelfth grade. Buddy graduated from Scotts. I, on the other hand, was commandeered by my parents, against my vehement protests, to relocate prior to my sophomore year in high school to Winston-Salem, N.C. Our school's adopted mascot was the Panthers. Prior to the turbulent, revolutionary 60's, it was okay to be a "black panther," and we were so proudly. Buddy and I were in the school's marching band. He and I both played the trumpet...I much better than he...and don't let him convince you otherwise.
Buddy assists his beautiful wife in her real estate business. But because - unless you've been living under a rock this past year - it is obvious that real estate is not exactly a booming enterprise, Buddy is also working at a local Statesville radio station selling on air advertising. We talked about the local and national state of the economies, as well as the up-coming Presidential election. We talked for a long time until it was well past good folks to call it a night. Buddy and Jeanene were gracious to permit Judi and I to spend the night in their bed. We considered this offer to be quite the extraordinary act of hospitality until we heard their story regarding their unrelenting quest to find the perfect mattress on which for them to receive a consistent restful sleep.
It seems that in the few short years since they have been married, neither he nor Jeanene could find and agree upon the right mattress. According to them, they have tried and discarded eight different combinations of mattresses. The latest iteration is a composite of two different box springs and mattresses...Buddy's a different combination on his side than one the side occupied by his bride. According to them, the jury is still out as to whether or not this attempt shall be approvingly judged as acceptable over the long haul. Judi and I slept fine. We both prefer a very firm mattress and we determined, as far as we could discern, both sides of the bed measured up to our usual requirements.
Upon waking the following morning, Judi and I decided that Buddy's and Jeanene's mattress plight was just too funny not to add to this growing legend. So, while remaking the bed we decided to add yet one more layer of potential discomfort to their professed misery. Under each side of the mattress we inserted one peanut shell replete with peanuts in tact, and a note hoping that the nights to follow would be of blessed repose. Unless they have heretofore discovered the little mementos of our stay, they, having read this post, will only now find the source of their on-going sleepless discomfort.
Serves you right for looking like a 40 year old. Sleep well our forever fond friends.
Sunday, November 9
As "Coffeypot" did an admirable job in his blog of detailing all of the other locations and points of historical interest that he was so kind in taking the time to share with me, I'll not again revisit that portion of our travelogue. I was, however, privileged to meet his lovely home where I was introduced to his equally beautiful wife and his two delightful grandchildren, all three of which he rightfully and pridefully adores. I do wish to say that the two days I spent in Coffeypot's company were perhaps the most enjoyable out of the three weeks that Judi and I spent on our extended vacation. John says that we are "like peas in a pod." I couldn't agree more. John is a man who I came to admire from reading his blog and became even more a fan of this person of great character and conviction while in his attentive company. He'll no doubt downplay these accolades, but beneath his gruff and don't give a crap facade beats the heart of true American patriot, whose ideals and values are to be readily admired and emulated. Because I am indeed a "Christian" I suppose John found it necessary to watch his language. He need not have done so. I am not that thin-skinned or easily offended. Neither am I put off that he is a proclaimed agnostic. In times of mortal combat it is said that there are no atheist in a foxhole. Were I to find myself in such a life and death situation, I would be honored and far better assured to have a man such as John Coffey by my side.