No. 436


We have a television station in nearby Little Rock that has a feature each week on the 10 O'clock News titled, "Everyone has a story." If you will think about it, you have one too. Each week this attractive young lady reporter interviews some person from around our state and they get the opportunity to tell their story on television where thousands and thousands of viewers can see and hear it. Many of these are very good and I always enjoy the variety that comes with the territory. I just love people and think we are the most interesting creatures that God has placed on this earth. It's also interesting how the participants are selected. After the interview, this person has a dart and a map of the state placed behind them.

The person who has been interviewed, then flips the dart over their shoulder and where it lands on the map, is where next weeks story comes from. When the reporter gets to this new town, she takes the local telephone directory and opens to a page at random and then places her finger on that page. Where her finger lands is covering the name of next week's "Everyone has a story" participant. This is an interesting and never ending way of bringing common ordinary people into the limelight. Most of us like that and like I said earlier, we all have a story. With regard to this, some of my happiest times is just talking to people and hearing interesting things that have happened to them.

We have an excellent opportunity for this each month at our church. The first Sunday of each month we have a prayer breakfast and about four or five of us men are the cooks. I don't know how I got roped into this because I am sure not much of a cook, but once you fix bacon and biscuits in a good stove several times, it's downhill from there. We get there at 6:15 AM in order to be ready to serve at 8 O'clock when everyone else shows up. You can probably see the picture, four men in close quarters with two hours to talk about everything and everybody. I found out later that I was invited to be on the team is because I know so many one-liners.

To protect the guilty I am not going to give full names here, but I have heard some dandy stories. One of the fellows told about when he was a young lad growing up that he lived on a farm and they had a horse and a milk cow. Now horses are to ride but milk cows, usually no. However, on this particular day this man said he and several other boys were out riding horses and someone suggested they ride the milk cow. For young boys, say from seven to ten years of age, usually a suggestion is as good as done. If you don't know, in some parts of the country for young boys to ride the milk cow is almost a staple. I don't know this for sure, but I bet there are girls who have ridden a milk cow, too.

Later when I told this story to a man who is on staff at our church and originally from Oklahoma, he said. "When I was a young boy there were four of us kids on a milk cow and I was the one on the tail end. When this cow started up a steep bank I fell off and broke my arm." Needless to say, he has very vivid memories of riding a milk cow when he was growing up. There is a purpose in my sharing this, but first I want to tell you the funniest story I have heard since I became a part of the cook team several years ago.

One of our men whose name is Richard, has two brothers by the names of Ralph and Ronnie. When they were very young, around 4, 5, and 6, they used to all take a bath in the same tub. Ronnie was the youngest and one night after they all got out of the tub, one of the other brothers got the bright idea of putting the commode plunger on Ronnie's stomach. It was funny till they tried to get it off, but when it wouldn't release; this prank became a very serious mater. Richard said for some time they pulled Ronnie all around the kitchen floor, holding on to the commode plunger handle, trying to get it off, but it wouldn't budge. At this point they got scared and started crying. Finally their mother came in to find out what was going on and she sized up the situation. Like most mothers who can fix everything, she took her finger and ran it up under the edge of the plunger to break the seal and it came right off. Richard said he and Ralph were greatly relieved.Ê

The point I want to make is this. Back in the days when I was growing up, kids were kids and we did some foolish, mischievous and even dangerous things. Of course there were mean kids, especially boys, back then too, but parents and society had a way of dealing with them. Somehow we must stop teenage violence in our country. Ê(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)