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.

Documented: A lifetime of struggling with staying healthy

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. —Doug Larson, (1923-2017) Wisconsin newspaper editor and columnist.

Struggling to construct a searchable database of my column-writing career has been an eye opener. What I’ve found “stored” in newspaper clippings, photocopies and digital files is a pretty good cross-section of my life. At the very least, it’s a record of what was on my mind once a week which is treasure trove for someone who struggles these days with remembering what was on his mind five minutes ago.

I’ve lamented not working harder at keeping a journal. However, the database project now taking shape has shown me that I just may have unknowingly accomplished something similar with weekly digests spanning some 40 years, many touching on just that topic: staying in shape.

My earliest offering on living healthy, penned and published in 1980 in the Center, Texas, East Texas Light (now the Light and Champion), began: “No meats, sweets, coffee or tea? No wheat, nuts, beans or peas? And no chocolates? What can I eat, doc?”

“All the cauliflower, white bread, and potatoes you want,” Doc Ginn assured me. “And broiled chicken or lamb once a week will curb that purine content in the blood triggering arthritic conditions in a major joint, usually the large toe.”

“Come again doc?”

“Gout,” he replied without hesitation knowing that question was coming.

“That’s an old man’s disease,” I chuckled. “Mmmmm,” was my trusted physician’s reply with a shrug of the shoulder and a smile. “Look doc, I didn’t come here to be insulted.” As if to comfort me, he added, “Gout is a rich man’s disease suffered by King Henry VIII.”

“Still, my colleagues and those previously considered friends laughed, ‘Gout?’ My own children scoffed, ‘Isn’t that what grandpa has?’ Worse, no one was impressed with the King Henry VIII story.”

That piece written during my 32nd summer concluded with, “So after all that eating healthy, I’m still falling apart. I wonder if they serve cheeseburgers at  the nursing home?”

Fourteen summers later while publishing the Boerne Star down in the Texas Hill Country I wrote: “When I turned forty, a friend (or so I thought) gave me a mug proclaiming, ‘After forty, it’s patch. patch, patch.’

“Nothing illustrates that so graphically as Monday morning when my alarm sounds at five, but it doesn’t matter. I’m already awake and have been for an hour.”

“Time was when I rose early to exercise. Surgical repair of failing parts disrupted that routine and, as habits are prone to do, you miss one day then watch years pass. I still think about exercising. But it’s hard with a standing appointment at the clinic, plus bandage, muscle relaxer and liniment bills that keep the drug stores bidding on my business.”

“The worst blow came when the doctor said, ‘You better give up caffeine,’ adding those words I‘ve learned to hate: ‘At your age.’ Withdrawal was awful. I wrung my hands and broke out in cold sweats just smelling the beans roasting. I switched to decaff, but the fake stuff just wasn’t working. I’m back on the real thing again until I get busted.”

“I’d already given up sugar, bread, staying up late, desserts, and fried foods when I read an article at the clinic about how to quit smoking. I was having a nicotine fit thinking about it before it dawned on me—I don’t even smoke!

“Just a lapse in memory, I guess which is one sign of advancing age. I can’t remember the others. With age does come wisdom though. Unfortunately for me, it’s the knowledge that I’m not as young as I used to be.”

With the database almost done and 2019 winding down, I’m acutely aware that “not as young as I used to be” is no longer a relative comparison. Now when I attempt to describe someone by noting, “He’s younger than me,” I have to remember that group is just about everyone.

I’ve abandoned hope on those cheeseburgers at the nursing home for now, but I’m fine with the healthy compromises as long as mornings simply remain difficult.

It’s when I have to give up mornings that I’ll really start to worry.

—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.

Real fine folks enjoying real good music in a real small town

“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don’t understand the language … they still know good music when they hear it.” — Lou Rawls, (1933-2006) American singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer.

A gathering of local folks ready to enjoy some good music at the Azalea House in Center, Texas, last Thursday night brought to mind how music is in fact a communicator. It’s an indigenous magic language possessing the power to erase every care and take us to that world described in the songs we enjoy.

In the “Real Small Town” of Center, to borrow on one of singer-songwriter Adam Hood’s song titles, the crowd gathered for an evening of his music Thursday was a cross section of friends, neighbors, strangers, working people, retirees, elected officials from both the city and the state level, and more. While the common draw was music and fellowship with music lovers, it’s safe to say that it was also an opportunity for most of us to forget the pressures and demands of daily life. I know that’s what music does for me.

Adam Hood

The roots for last week’s musical gathering were planted years ago by Dr. Danny Paul Windham, Center’s local “almost-nearly-but-not-quite-hardly-retired” dentist—a singer, songwriter, and performer himself. He and his wife, Sally have brought a number of music events to the Deep East Texas community over the years with shows at a variety of venues including their barn turned outdoor theater. And credit for those events has to belong to a 30-plus-year Thursday night tradition called “Beans and Strings” where the Windham’s open their home to musicians of all skill levels as well as anyone who just wants to enjoy the evening jam session that includes a pot of beans and homemade cornbread.

Carrying on family traditions in recent years at both Windham Family Dental on Cora Street and putting together outstanding musical events has been their son, Dr. Clayton Paul Windham and his wife, Jackie. Plus, the Azalea House—Center’ newest event venue, is their addition to the community and the fun.

The performers have always been singer-songwriter types who are talented artists connected and rooted in the business, but outside the mainstream realm of well-known big business entertainment names with bands, busses and entourages .

Reading Adam Hood’s list of accomplishments might sound like a big business entertainment name, however. He’s performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, was seen in a segment of “We’re An American Band” on the Documentary Channel and produced a music video ranked #5 on the Country Music Television (CMT) front page main category “Todays Top Videos.” He’s toured with and/or opened for artists such as Taylor Hicks, Pat Green, Miranda Lambert (who he wrote a song for), and Leon Russell. He’s worked in Nashville as a studio musician playing with artists like Vince Gill. In January 2015, Rolling Stone mentioned him as a “top 10 country artist listeners should know.”

But what the Opelika, Alabama, native brought to Center last week was his bluesy country style in an intimate setting, performing “unplugged’ and solo, sitting in a chair in one-room setting. He interacted with his audience telling stories about each song (many of which are stories about his life), allowing everyone there to “enjoy the healing power of music, taking people out of themselves for a few hours,” as Elton John was once quoted as saying,

“This is a real small town full of real fine folks … And, there’s a real big heart in this real small town.” Those words are from one of Hood’s song he performed last week, describing his hometown. Last Thursday night at the Azalea House, however, it could have just as easily been about Center, Texas: “A real small town full of real fine folks who love real good music.”

—Leon Aldridge

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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.

Some parts of the good old days might need updating

“These are the good old days.” —Oscar Elliott (1947-2016) humorist, philosopher, counselor, confidant, and my lifelong friend.

Being a member of the geezer generation has its perks. My favorite is giving younger generations a hard time about how easy they have it and how much tougher it was in the “good old days” when I growing up. After last week however, I may have to update the good old days.

Second only to “when I was your age, I walked to school, rain or shine, even in the snow, uphill—both ways” are the stories of surviving the dog days of summer before the luxury of air conditioning became common place. Greek and Roman astrology associated the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer with heat, drought, thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, bad luck and mad dogs, attributing them to the rising of the star system, Sirius.

I’m not sure about the other maladies maligned by the ancients, but with the recent wave of serious heat, even the canines are howling about the good old dog days of summer.

It was the rising serious heat that also warmed up discussions with a younger friend last week when she said, “You know, it’s just hard to imagine not having air conditioning. Wow, that must have been a long time ago. How did people survive?”

“We didn’t know any difference,” I offered, politely ignoring her “long tome ago” reference. “I was entering sixth grade before the first air conditioner was installed at the Aldridge household, and that was just for one room. Using a discount coupon from the chamber of commerce ‘Welcome Wagon’ when we moved to Mount Pleasant, Dad bought a small window unit at Western Auto to cool the living room. In the rest of the house, it was still open windows and fans.”

Continuing with cars, I said, “My father bought his first car with air conditioning when I was in college. Summer trips as a kid, driving long distances with only the benefit of that old 4/60 air conditioning system, four windows down at 60 miles per hour, was our climate control.”

Wrapping up with how I graduated from a high school that lacked air conditioning in many classrooms, I was prepared to segue into why all of the serious heat stories were so relevant right now. “Open windows and ceiling fans provided cooling as well as olfactory experiences from the outdoors like the custodian raking and burning leaves in the Fall. The band hall was in a separate building with a single window unit, and that was the only class.”

“So, I guess this heat doesn’t bother you then,” my young friend asked?

“It didn’t until the A/C at my house went down Labor Day weekend,” I said.

“How long was it down,” she gasped in disbelief.

“Going on a week,” I replied triggering another gasp.

“That’s really bad.”

“No, that’s good because I recently bought a home warranty and it paid for repairs on the first visit.”

“That’s good.”

“No, that was bad. The first trip didn’t fix it and the compressor quit working, but it turned out good because they replaced the compressor.”

“Well, that is good.”

“No, that was bad. The new compressor was defective—ran a week and died.”

“Oh, that’s bad.”

“No, that turned out good because they’re replacing it.”

“Well, that’s good.”

“No, that’s bad because it hasn’t come in yet and I’ve been without air for a week.”

 “Now, that really is bad.”

“You’re absolutely right. That really is bad,” I agreed with her. “It’s reminded me that as much as I reminisce about the good old days—these air-conditioned days really are the good old days.”

—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.