The British have a system of rewarding their citizens for service to the country. The men are allowed to add “Sir” to their name if they are named by the queen to one of the six levels of knighthood- and the women become “Dame.”Thus we have Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Elton John. You figure it out. It used to go to a few in the twice a year ceremony, but lately it has expanded. So, everyone from the 2008 who won a gold medal became a “Sir.” Some refuse the title—John Cleese and George Harrison for example. Then, there was “singer” Johnny Rotten. Hey, it’s their country. We have no heraldry or royalty (supposedly) in this country, so the term, “sir” is usually used as a sign of respect: college professors, men of high station and even male school teachers, for instance. I was called it when I taught—especially from those in the prison. It’s a name that has often confused me, to be honest. In fact, the first time it was used in reference to me” out in public, I was surprised. Why? It was obviously used in reference to my age. Now I hear it, often when I use the traditional old manners taught me as a kid: opening a door for a lady, or somebody opening a door for me. The latter is what shocked me the first time. It was the realization that this nice young person considers me “old” enough to warrant that respect, regardless of who I was or what I had done in life. Wow! That’s a bit of a come-upper. I went back and wrote a poem—that’s what I do—about that experience. So, here’s my poem titled “SIR:”
She thanked me when I held the door, then added “Sir”, which said much more.
She smiled and went upon her quest, while I, exhaled, and did my beat
To throw the burden of that word, and make believe I never heard
It used in reference to me…for in my heart I’ll never be,
The faded soul it would betray—and image I fight every day.
The part that looks from in-to-out has never had the slightest doubt
That youth has not abandoned ship. It must have been a simple slip.
I hurry to my home to see what outside-in reveals of me,
And then, the mirror on the shelf betrays the lies I’ve told myself.
The visage I encounter there is weathered face and whitened hair.
Oh, when did I become a “sir?” The years have gone past in a blur.
They must have gone on feathered wing to where the winter hides the spring.
I was so filled with every day, I never saw them creep away.
And now, by op’ning up one door, my youth has fled forevermore.
She meant no harm upon me there, yet, I am shattered past repair. JDF
Joke: The Concorde landed in New York and the pilot got on the intercom and said,
“Ladies and gentlemen: thank you for flying with us today and we hope we have the pleasure of your company again soon.” Then, forgetting he had the microphone on, he said to the co-pilot, Now, All I need is a good cup of coffee and a woman.” The stewardess in the back realized what was happening and rushed to the cockpit to tell him. As she passed by an old lady, the woman grabbed her arm and said, “Slow down, sweetie, give him time to finish his coffee.”
Favorite one-liners: *I try to keep a youthful outlook. It’s all I have left that’s youthful.*It’s not supposed to be right versus left. It’s supposed to be right versus wrong. *I haven’t completely lost my mind. I have it backed up on a thumb drive. *Only politicians (and news analysts) can cover perfectly good paper with perfectly good ink and come up with something worthless.
*We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
Historical oddities: *Have you ever heard of the “Bellamy Salute?” Named after Frances Bellamy, the writer of the Pledge of Allegiance, it was a salute used for 50 years (from 1892-1942) to salute our flag. FDR replaced it in 1942 because of its similarity to the Nazi salute—but it was around long before they were. Now it is simply recognized as a Fascist salute.
*Mt. Everest is NOT the tallest mountain in the world. It is simply the highest above sea level/. Mauna Loa in Hawaii is the tallest, but 20,00 feet is below the water of its total of 33, 465 feet.
Another week has passed and I’m still running the base paths. See you next time! JDF