Looking forward to connecting the next set of dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.” —Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011) Former CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc.

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Apple’s mastermind of the Mac was right on both accounts. While his point was looking forward to plotting one’s future, I contend it’s fun looking back connecting the dots between events in our past.

It was especially fun last Sunday as I watched a 78-year-old steam locomotive roll through the small East Texas berg of Hallsville headed for its next stop in Marshall. Steam spewing from enormous pistons to the rhythm of their “chug-chug” power thrusts and the massive locomotive’s haunting horn heralding its presence delighted crowds lining both sides of the track for miles. 

For me, it brought back memories of my grandfather who worked for the railroad from the age of 13 to his retirement at age 66. Many are my memories of evenings sitting with him on his front porch across the street from tracks that ran through Pittsburg, Texas. A check of his pocket watch with each passing train prompted comments regarding the “on-time” status just as if he were still on the job. Every kid loves a train and the kid in me Sunday remembered those times when steam locomotives still shared tracks with the “new generation” of diesel-electric locomotives.

It was in the 1960s—’67 to be exact that I spent the summer in Southern California with mom’s younger brother and his family while acquiring skills with a paint gun working in the automotive body shop Uncle Bill managed. My mentor, Ralph Kyger, was nothing short of an artist at applying paint to anything from a VW to a Rolls Royce and matching colors simply by sight. He also possessed a colorful personality, a mixture of prankster and comedian one minute, and a perfectionist the next who didn’t mince words about the quality of work he delivered and likewise expected from me. 

“You would enjoy meeting his son, Leroy Kyger,” my cousin Danny offered at a family reunion last July when conversations about that summer in California more than 50 years ago turned to Ralph. “He races motorcycles in the desert,” said Danny, “He has a restored Datsun pickup that has won tons of awards, and he’s a big fan of the old steam locomotives. I think you two would enjoy knowing each other.” 

Through the modern miracles of social media, that meeting with the Las Vegas, Nevada, resident was soon accomplished. Leroy admitted to being a huge fan of the Big Boy locomotives for 25-plus years, and a supporter of the efforts to restore Big Boy No. 4014 that passed through East Texas Sunday.

According to Union Pacific’s website, 25 “Big Boy” steam locomotives were built for Union Pacific, the first being delivered in 1941. At 1.2 million pounds and just 12-feet shy of twice the length of a modern-day locomotive, they are the biggest locomotives in the world. Eight survive. Seven are non-operational displays in various cities around the country, and No. 4014 is the world’s only operating example. 

No. 4014 was retired in December 1961 after traveling 1,031,205 miles during 20 years of service. Union Pacific reacquired 4014 from a California museum in 2013 and restored it in Cheyenne, Wyoming, before returning it to service in May 2019. Its inaugural tour was to Ogden, Utah, for Union Pacific’s 150th-anniversary ceremony where the Big Boy and historic steam locomotive “Living Legend” No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic image of the May 10, 1869 meeting when the last spike was driven at Promontory Summit completing America’s first transcontinental railroad.

Completing my Sunday afternoon tour, I hurried from Hallsville to Marshall before No. 4014 got there to capture images of the historic locomotive’s chugging and steaming arrival at the depot. This final 2019 tour for No. 4014 started in September and will have taken the historic locomotive through 12 states when it returns to Wyoming.

My Sunday tour connected this set of dots looking back over memories of family, friends, and trains through most of my life. It also left me looking forward to the next set of dots.

—Leon Aldridge

(All photos by Leon Aldridge)

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A traffic light just like the ones ignored by drivers

“The worst use of time in a person’s life is when he waits for the traffic lights changing from red into green!” ― Vikrant Parsai, English teacher and author

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The most recent addition to the sign and “automotive stuff” collection surrounding “Miss Vicky” (a ’55 Ford Crown Victoria) out in the garage is a traffic light replica.

It looks just like a real traffic light, but its smaller scale fits nicely with the assortment already adorning the walls. Its smaller price tag also fits my budget nicely. Real ones sell for more than Miss Vicky did back when she was just a used car. And, it even changes from green to yellow, and to red, just like the real ones commonly ignored and abused by drivers today.

The first electric traffic signal light in the nation was installed at the corner of 105th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914 according to an online article from Hemmings Motor News. “As near as can be determined,” The article reports, “… the noteworthy anniversary of traffic signal lights used at intersections was duly celebrated with the majority of American motorists continuing their recent tradition regarding traffic lights—ignoring them.”

The traffic light was just one of many topics teased by “Tonight” show host Jay Leno’s street interviews. Always good for a laugh, responses were also as mom used to say, “more painfully truthful than humorous,” typically revealing intelligence levels far below minimum requirements for life skills beyond more than just driving.

“What does the yellow light on a traffic signal mean,” evoked dumbfounded stares, “I don’t know,” and suggestions of “hurry up” or “speed up to beat the red light.” About the only answer not heard was the one any officer of the law will provide along with a ticket: traffic laws, common sense, and respect for others dictate a yellow light is a warning that the light is about to turn red, and drivers are to stop if they can safely do so.

That last part calls to mind a personal experience about what can happen if the yellow light changes to red as you pass under it while debating whether “safely to do so” was the best decision.

Christmas was nigh several years ago and Yuletide tensions were high at home. To ease those tensions, I decided one Sunday afternoon would be perfect to get away to the neighboring big city alone to find those last-minute gifts not yet secured.

Passing through one of the small communities south of Shreveport where each has its own traffic light, I saw the yellow and with a millisecond’s debate and decided, “too late to stop, I can make it.”

My second wrong assumption in less than 60 seconds was when I prematurely celebrated too quickly for seeing no flashing lights behind me. After checking my license and insurance card, the officer asked if I was headed back to Center and inquired as to my purpose for visiting Shreveport. I explained how the high level of Christmas anxiety at home prompted my thoughts that it was a good day for me to do some shopping.

“So,” the officer said, “You left your wife at home to go Christmas shopping alone?”

Not sure where he was going with that question, I stammered for an answer. Before I could formulate one, he returned my license and insurance card saying, “The next time you run away from home for some peace and quiet, stop by here and get me to go with you. Merry Christmas and drive safely.”

The worst use of time in a person’s life might be waiting for the traffic lights to change, however, moving on when the light changes regardless of what color it changes to can be much worse…unless you are stopped by an officer with Christmas spirit and a sense of humor.

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—Leon Aldridge

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Reading old books can often yield hidden treasures

 “There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.” —Bertrand Russell, author of The Conquest of Happiness.

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Granted, there’s pleasure in reading a book as well as sharing in conversations with others about them. But I stumbled onto a third motive some years ago. Reading books, especially old used books, can yield hidden treasures beyond the enjoyment of reading.

In addition to the joy of reading, I find pleasure in reorganizing my library every few years. Collecting books spans most of my life and my collection includes volumes on American music, cars, aviation, Texas, Bible history, photography, writing and textbooks that got me through college. And that’s just a start.

When daughter Robin was about 12, she was struggling with a box of books during a move when she stopped to ask, “Dad, have you ever thought about collecting butterflies or stamps?”

The thought came to me last week that it’s about time for another reorganization. It’s a process where every book accumulated individually, in boxes, donated, via mail order, chain bookstores, used bookstores, and flea markets is touched, handled, and examined, evaluated and systematically classified on the shelves.

Before hitting the shelves, some are read when purchased, some added to the collection as reference books, and some filed there with the thought that I will get around to them later, like after I retire. Most of those are still waiting to be read because I decided along the way that I really don’t know if I will ever retire or not. That’s also when I began letting go of some in garage sales and donating them to the library. Others, I’ll always keep for sentimental reasons. Perhaps they were a gift, or I enjoyed reading them enough that they made my personal favorite list to read again—after I’ve read the others I have not yet read.

It’s through this semi-every now and then reorganization process that I’ve discovered the hidden treasures and the profitability of old books. And I’m not talking about the information, wisdom, or philosophy contained in the words.

Old books I’ve had, some for years before reading them, have yielded documents, letters, and even money. Like the 1949 issue of a book on feature writing that was in a box of books at an estate sale. They gave the appearance of having been hastily unloaded off a bookshelf, dumped n a box and priced at $10 for the sale. I decided to gamble on them. A few days later while flipping through the pages of the feature story writing book, the old book featured a $100 bill stashed in its pages. I’ve always wondered what the story was about how the money got stuck in a journalism book and forgotten. Couldn’t have been a journalist who put it there and forgot about it, they seldom see hundred-dollar bills.

Another treasure discovered among the pages of an old book came with the purchase of an old Ford parts manual at a car swap meet near Fort Worth. I looked at the first few pages, decided it was worth the $5 asking price and bought it. Once back in East Texas, I was pursuing the pages of parts when I discovered the best part of all tucked in the back, a letter written by President Lyndon Johnson to a member of Congress thanking them for  supporting a piece of legislation. It was written on White House stationery, dated in 1965, and bore his trademark artistic signature. A gallery in Dallas declared it to be genuine and offered to buy it for $250. I declined and had it framed with the cover of an old issue of Life magazine with LBJ on the cover.

Having learned the value of old books, it’s with eager anticipation that I’m about to start the next treasure hunt…just as soon as I finish the latest book I’m reading on investments.

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—Leon Aldridge

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wearing a shirt and tie made me feel like I had arrived

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” – P.J. O’Rourke, American political satirist and journalist

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Going out of business signs at Beall’s department stores around East Texas recently was not so much a cause for panic for me as it was cause for some reflection on traditions.

Beall’s in Mount Pleasant was my first “real job” opportunity to dress up for work. As was the norm in most businesses then, my dad wore a dress shirt and tie to work every day as the manager of Perry Brother’s 5¢-10¢ store. Working at Beall’s meant I got to dress up like a businessman and work all day Saturday in the men’s department, even if I was only 15 and a sophomore in high school. Prior employment had been mowing yards and working at the Ben Franklin dime store on the north side of the square in Mount Pleasant where Corbin Merritt was the manager. For assembling bicycles and wagons, plus “trash management” and floor-sweeping on Saturdays, I earned 25¢ an hour—good money for a 13-year-old in 1961.

“Movin’ on up” (actually around the corner on North Jefferson Street) to Beall’s where Virgil Tolbert was the manager meant I could work a couple of hours after school every day plus Saturdays and at minimum wage—$1.25 an hour. But it was wearing a dress shirt and tie in the men’s department Saturdays that made me feel like “I had arrived,”

Male dress attire in the early 60s included a jacket and a tie, even for young males at school functions like banquets and proms. Dressing nicely was a carry-over from church services where just about from the time I could walk, I was required to wear a coat and tie every Sunday morning—a habit that I have not outgrown.

Beall’s assistant manager and really spiffy dresser, Gerald Birdwell, fine-tuned my wardrobe skills and taught me a variety of ways to tie a tie. He also reinforced my upbringing at home about how dressing for success and a sense of self confidence go hand-in-hand. Self-confidence and a positive smile were his trademark. Each task I completed satisfactorily earned his standard complimentary “thank you” that included, “… you’re a gentleman and a scholar, and your charm is exceeded only by your good looks.”

He was also a big guy who drove a big car—a 1958 Buick Roadmaster. Gorgeous cars, the ’58 Buicks had more steel in the front bumper than every nut and bolt of any car on the road today. He typically parked on East Third close to Lil’ Abner’s Cleaners, always leaving the keys in the ignition as was common small-town practice then. No one ever considered that their car might be stolen, after all everybody in town knew each other. Someone capitalized on that practice one afternoon, but stealing was not their motive. Air-conditioned cars were uncommon then except in expensive makes like a Buick. Mr. Birdwell found his car idling, the air conditioning on high, and the fuel gauge on low.

“Guess someone needed to cool off,” he laughed, adding that it would have been nice had they just turned the motor off when they left. Gas was 25-cents a gallon in 1964, you know.

My job at Beall’s came to an end when dad left Perry Brothers to work for McKellar’s Department store, a small East Texas chain. Beall’s policy prohibited family members working for competitors., so I moved on to other employment. However, working at Beall’s, my first “real” job where I got to dress up, has always remained a fond memory.

It’s sad that dressing up has slowly gone the way of cars built like ’58 Buicks, leaving the keys in your car, and 25-cent gasoline. But I’m holding out for a comeback for dressing for success. My closet contains four suits, four sports jackets and a rack of ties I enjoy wearing every chance I get.

And, I’m probably the only person you know who owns a tux just because they love occasions to wear one. But it’s been so long since my last occasion that putting it on now—well, that just might panic the cat.

—Leon Aldridge

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(Photo at top of the page: Men’s dress clothing ad circa 1966)

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Smiling because I know fireplace nap season is near

“We no longer build fireplaces for physical warmth, we build them for the warmth of the soul; we build them to dream by, to hope by, to home by.” — Edna Ferber, (1885-1968) American novelist, short story writer, and playwright

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Fall’s first forays into cool weather during the last week or so has put a smile on my face knowing the first fireplace Sunday afternoon of the season is just around the corner. For me, there is no substitute for the soothing comfort of snoozing beside a fireplace.

Fondest fireplace memories include two that stand out as Autumn’s cool winds arrive. One is the house that used to be on Kennedy Street in Center where I lived in the 1980s. The house didn’t move, it’s still there, the city changed the name of the street. The other is the cabin I owned about 20 years ago on Glass Club Lake up in Northeast Texas.

The house on what used to be Kennedy Street had two fireplaces, one real and one fake. The formal living area showcased a white majestic marble example with gas logs and a large elaborate mirror, a perfect setting for formal bridal portraits when I was active doing that kind of photography. No doubt, a few bridal portraits are still hanging near fireplace mantels somewhere featuring photos of soon-to-be brides whose smiles reflected dreams of wedded bliss in that mirror.

The cozy warmth of knotty pine walls and wood tile floors reflected real flames in the den where Sunday afternoon naps were common practice for me. An ornately carved antique oak surround with floor-to-ceiling columns on both sides and a matching mantle framed a beveled glass mirror in the architectural antique that more than 100 years old when it was built into the Center house during construction in the mid-50s.

 A few steps down the scale in terms of formality describes everything about the little cabin on Glass Club Lake including its fireplace. The original four walls central to the original structure were rumored to have been one of the original buildings on the small lake built in the early 1900s as a railroad worker’s camp when rails were being laid along highway 67 between Mount Pleasant and Texarkana.

Over the years, additions had been made to three sides for a kitchen, a living area, and a bedroom. The one wall with no additions was anchored by a rock fireplace original to the one-room cabin that was the most primitive-looking but most efficient fireplace I’ve seen. Pioneer-esque in appearance it was, but it had a draw that never allowed smoke back in the house and produced enough heat to easily keep the living area and bedroom warm.

The best memory of that fireplace was one cold winter weekend while remodeling the place when I traveled up from Center for a weekend of work with Ol’ Max, my basset hound buddy. By the time we arrived, snow on the ground was sufficient to create difficulty for the old basset’s short stubby legs.

A fire in the fireplace seemed the first order of business followed by a pot of coffee after which a few minutes of relaxation in front of the fireplace with coffee was unavoidable. I woke up once sometime later deciding to snooze a little longer before getting serious about work. The next time I awoke it was dark except for the fire’s glow and the resulting patterns of light dancing on the walls. I had spent the better part of a day snoozing by the fireplace as it snowed outside, never regretting that tools still lay untouched.

From the looks of the East Texas forecast this morning, flames flickering in the fireplace won’t happen today, but the morning temps of the last few days are a gentle reminder that it’s coming. My favorite time of the year when there are naps to be taken and dreams to be dreamed, warming my soul by the fireplace.

—Leon Aldridge

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Loving small town life down at the local festival

“Yeah, this is my town, Where I was born, Where I was raised, Where I keep all my yesterdays.” —”My Town” song lyrics by Montgomery Gentry

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Last Saturday was a my-town, small-town kind of day listening to friends Dickie Gilchrist, Billy Neal, and Billy Paddy recount stories from their Center school days. You know, stories where guys who grew up “back when we did” identify memories by who drove what car, who dated whom, and the adventures that ensued from both. Stories that start with, “Do you remember …” and the follow up is something like “You know, he drove that red-and-white Ford convertible?”   

The event that brought us together Saturday was another small-town trademark, a community festival. The East Texas Poultry festival in Center, the Sassafras Festival in San Augustine, the Syrup Festival in Henderson, and the list goes on and on. Festivals that celebrate whatever is considered to be a small town’s claim to fame. We were at the Poultry Festival for two reasons, well three. The fun and the car show for sure, but let’s not forget the food. The stories I listened to about growing up in Center reminded me of similar experiences in Mount Pleasant. Only the names of the innocent (and sometimes the guilty) differed.

I’m a small-town guy. Sure, I like big-city shopping and entertainment, but I prefer sneaking into the city to enjoy those amenities, then escaping back to my small-town home. Hometown for me is technically Mount Pleasant, Texas, where I graduated from high school. Following college, opportunities and chasing dreams led me to other places, the last one being Center which quickly took on the feel of my hometown community. After this many years, I guess you might say I am lucky enough to have two hometowns.

Knowing your neighbors, their accomplishments and challenges by visiting across the back fence or by reading the local newspaper is another characteristic of a small town. There’s also something to be said for small towns when it comes to community influences outside of the home, which for me the single most important might have been law-enforcement officials.

Luckily, my “rap sheet” was short and by comparison, mostly innocent. Other than tickets for speeding, excessive noise, and improper start from a parked position (isn’t that the greatest definition of a burnout ever coined) accumulated by a kid growing up with fast cars, there was a time or two when the handling of an errant teenager by an officer of the law made a difference, a lesson they never forgot.

Like the night seeking adventure with some friends in my ’55 Chevy took a turn for potential disaster when someone who had already over imbibed in adult beverages decided to share with us. It took all of 15 minutes for a local officer to pull me over and discover he had a carload of high school boys with strong drink.

As I was fearing the worst, the officer looked at my driver’s license and said, “I know your father. He works at Perry Brothers. Do you think he would be very proud of you if he were here right now?” That was a no brainer. “No sir, I don’t think so.” After confiscating the beverages, he said, “I know where you live on Redbud Street. I’m going to drive by your house in 15 minutes and if your car is not in the driveway, I’m going to ring the doorbell and your father and I will have a conversation.”

Barely avoiding another improper start from a parked position, I allowed all but one of my friends to jump out at their house while still rolling. The unfortunate one had to walk a couple of blocks because I was out of time and not risking that conversation.

Granted, these are different times in which we live and raise children. But for having grown up in one small town and having lived most of my life in another, I wouldn’t want to keep my yesterdays anywhere else.

—Leon Aldridge

(East Texas Poultry Festival drone photo at top of the page
by Buster Bounds, Center, Texas.)

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Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

If you’re lucky, ‘just a dog’ has changed your life

“I feel sorry for people who say, ‘It’s just a dog.’ They’ve probably never experienced the most genuine love and companionship a human being can know.” —Me

“Benny’s a good boy!” Those words scored a look every time from the miniature schnauzer, provided his radar wasn’t locked onto a squirrel. If dogs understand us, and I think some do, Benny knew they meant he belonged.

“Benny’s a good boy,” also worked for training. Those words plus a tasty treat and he knew he had done something to please.

And, “Benny’s a good boy,” were also the words I said to him over and over last Saturday morning while stroking his head and watching through moist eyes as he slipped away crossing that Rainbow Bridge.

Benjamin Jon Fran Song, his AKC “Christian name,” moved in February of 2005 although we picked him as “ours” soon after his arrival December 10, 2004.

The tiny ball of black fur, the runt of the litter soon grew to a 12-pound salt-and-pepper friend full of life and love. From his almost 15 years, I have many Benny stories you may have to endure when you see me. And if you tire of those, I might share a Max story from the days when an old re-homed basset hound we called “a fine dog” roamed Texas with me.

Benny – May 2005
Photo at top of page December 2017

Sayings about what our dogs mean to us are plentiful. I don’t have any new ones to offer, but I heartily subscribe to many I’ve heard.

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” Perhaps the most popular saying about domesticated canines, it’s the best in my book. The world needs more unconditional love, and the best way to learn it is by making friends with a dog. Love one and it will love you back ten-fold—no questions asked. Scold one that loves you, and with tail tucked between its legs, it will beg forgiveness with its eyes never questioning whether you were right or wrong.

Still don’t believe me about unconditional love? Try coming home late one night to your wife and your dog with no explanation for where you’ve been and take note of which one is happier to see you.

“It’s impossible to forget a dog that gave you so much to remember.” Afternoon walks. Playtime fetching a toy as many times as you throw it. Naps at your feet letting you know your dog’s favorite place is with you.

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss.” I thought no dog could ever replace Max. Stories about him are legend among family and friends. I sat on the floor and wept when Max’s time came thinking I could never replace that friendship. I was wrong.

In short order, Benny napped in my lap assuring me that I had a new furry friend as loving, trusting, and entertaining as Max was. And, he was right.

“No matter how many years we get with our dogs, it’s never enough.” Benny’s age started catching up with him last year. Over the years, he dodged an attempted dog napping by a couple of young punks, a brush with a passing vehicle’s tire that was too close for comfort suffering only a bad scare, and other close calls.

But, none of us can dodge dates on the calendar. The sparkle in his eyes had dimmed as other physical failings were making life a challenge. Saturday, it was obvious he was hurting, that he was not going to get better, and we both knew it was time.

“If you’re lucky, a dog will come into your life, steal your heart and change everything!” The void in my life has hurt this week, but it’s a good sadness remembering good memories a dog left in my heart. I’ve been blessed more than once by “just a dog” that has changed my life.

And if I’m lucky, it will happen again.

—Leon Aldridge

Aldridge columns are published in these Texas newspapers: The Center Light and Champion, the Mount Pleasant Tribune,  the Rosenberg Fort Bend Herald, the Taylor Press, and the Alpine Avalanche.

© Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leon Aldridge and A Story Worth Telling with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.