Monday, January 27, 2014

Stories from the Mission... bit 29

   I went down to stage an hour early last night and heard someone playing the piano really well. It's a man named Guytano and he works down in the radio show area. I sit in the front row with an overnighter to listen appreciatively. That man I was enjoying it with was an old white guy with long gray hair, wearing a suit with a cane in front of him to rest both hands on the top. We sit quietly as Guytano manipulates the keys, his fingers are often so far in that they are between the black ones almost touching the wall. The guy is good and from what I've heard he has taught himself to play in just the last year here at the mission.
   During stage last night I saw the cutest thing, a little boy of maybe 6 years old stood up and thanked God for his daddy! Here is a man taking care of two young sons till they can get a place to stay, in a homeless shelter. To most people that would be very depressing, but to this child, he loves his Daddy. There are two fathers with kids here right now and the other is from south Africa and his eyes are almost a silver color, very interesting. Curious enough, while on the subject of eyes, there are three guys in the program right now that only have one. Jason lost an eye during surgery for a tumor. Hmmmm, Jason... I have an almost tolerate/hate thing with him. He is irritating, always getting entangled in other peoples problems with bad consequences and often does not think through what he blurts out. I do respect the way that when he does tick people off that he can stand in the face of withering criticism without crumbling. I'm trying to help him learn, and for some reason he accepts my advice at times, but it's like he just can't help it. This one day he got someone really really riled up, so I told him that if he doesn't want to get kicked in the groin all the time, quit walking around like a bowlegged cowboy, lol. trouble will find you easy enough, don't go looking for it.
   Now there used to be a guy here by the name of Wilbur that was a chubby, round faced southern boy from Nashville. he was a real character that annoyed the hell out of people at times, but he sure could pray out loud well. He looked like what they talk about when you think of a revival pastor in the 1890s, his white face all sweaty in a too tight collar. he liked to hang out with Mark a lot, a very urban, gay black man. I would kid with them and say they should be in a new sitcom, the Very odd couple, lol. One day in morning class, Pastor Bower was answering questions. Wilbur and Jason seem to ask the weirdest ones and Pastor happened to notice something about the two guys. He had them both stand up and sure enough, Wilbur's tie was so long it hung down to his crotch and Jason's tie was barely 5 inches long! Pastor got them both to walk over to a door along the wall so he could get a picture of them next to eachother. Pastor Bower is endearing that way.
   It's very frustrating... my eyesight is getting worse. It's getting hard to read the small print of my Bible in the dorm, it's not like they have really powerful lights in there. I find them watering a lot, but what can I do? (Writting from 2014, I still have eye problems).
   Old story time... when I was around 13 years of age, my neighbor Jense and I built an elevator in my weeping willow tree. No, really. let me explain. My Dad loved to go antiquing and we would all pile in the car to go with. Once he brought us to an old barn that he had heard they where going to tear down, so he seeing what was still left to grab. He salvaged a couple of blocks and tackles from a rafter way up high in the peak of the barn and took them home with us. One night I was reading one of our encyclopedias and came across an article on how elevators work. It's really pretty simple at the basic level and it got me thinking. The next day I grabbed the blocks, which are basically big pullies, some ropes, weights and an old lawn chair. Climbing up into the tree, we positioned the two blocks about 10 feet apart well up high. Then I rigged the chair at four points and led that rope up through the first block and over and down from the second block. At the end of that far end of the rope we tide on  about 80 pounds of bench weights. Then we tired another rope to the chair and led that straight up and back down to the chair. The weights at the far end made a 110 pound kid effectively only weigh 30 pounds via the counter-weighting, so by sitting in the chair and pulling on the second rope, you could lift yourself all the way up into the tree. We had to rig a hook into the ground to anchor the chair so you could get out of it without it sling shooting up into the air. Eventually we decided to move it to the tree in Jences yard as it was much bigger. We eliminated the chair and extra rope and tide a thick dowel rod to the end of the rope. The counterweights still made us weigh a lot less, so we could grab the rod and jump high into the air like the Six million dollar man, Steve Austin! It was the coolest rope swing I have ever played on, running along, swinging out wide and reeling high into the branches only to float back down softly. Heh... I miss those days...

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