Just My 10-Cents

Do people still pick up pennies?

When Richard Nixon was president, my sister and I would collect pop bottles that people tossed out of their cars. Deep ditches were a pop bottle gold mine.

This was before the government discovered Woodsy Owl lecturing litterbugs in El Segundo and recruited him for a national Give A Hoot campaign.

Pop bottles were made of green glass and were returned, washed and reused back then. People brag about recycling aluminum cans and plastic bottles these days, but ...

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Get To Know Your Dad This Father’s Day

Get to know your dad this Father’s Day

I’m one of the lucky few in America whose parents are still married and still with me. In the last few months, this has become more apparent and appreciated, as time has caught up with all of us.

When I left home, I was 18 and my father was 42. I’m now 51 and he’s 75. Neither of us have been spring chickens for many, many springs.

I went home to Arkansas recently and had ...

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Chocolate Gravy

You haven’t lived until you’ve had Chocolate Gravy.

Whenever some chef comes on television and demonstrates a 40-step process for the “perfect meal”, I wonder how we got so far away from biscuits and gravy. Specifically, biscuits and Chocolate Gravy.

Being a Southern Boy, I was lucky enough to be reared on the staples of poor folk food. Of course, I had no idea that what we were eating was poor folk food, I just knew that it tasted like a million dollars ...

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Workin’ For a Livin’

Instead of focusing on the minimum wage, we should focus on the maximum effort.

When I got my first job at age 11, I was paid for the amount of work I did.

The man who owned the local bait shop in my hometown hired me to ride my bike over after school and work a few hours each afternoon doing manual labor, including tending the worm beds and boxing the worms for him to sell to fishermen. The agreement was this: ...

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Putting The Band Back Together

Most teenage boys have visions of being a rock star.

Correction. Visions of being a rock star are what they have when they’re not having visions of cheerleaders.

As a child of the ‘70’s, my rock star idols were longhaired, chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking, 20-somethings who made two guitars, a bass and a set of drums sound like a million dollars. At least that’s what it sounded like to me. My dad said it sounded like noise.

My parents didn’t view these guys the same way ...

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Don’t Discount Me

Those who know me well know that I am frugal (or downright cheap, as my children put it).

So, imagine my joy when I recently stopped by the discount bread store and discovered a particular type of wheat that normally runs $3.99 in the grocery store on sale for .99 a loaf. I picked up two loaves.

Cashier: “That will be .99 cents, please.”

Me: “Are you sure that’s correct? I have two loaves.”

Cashier: “Yessir, ...

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A Mom Is Who You Make Her

I lost count of the number of children my grandmother fostered over the years.

This came to mind recently when I saw a statistic which indicated that there are almost 30,000 children in the Texas Foster Care system.

Let that number sink in.

Thirty thousand children.

One of the biggest blessings any of us can ever receive during our time on earth is to have a family who loves us.

I have to be honest and say that I took my family for ...

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Bottled Water, Chia Pets and Spray On Hair

When bottled water first hit the market, I thought it would never sell. After all, only an idiot would pay for something you could get out of the tap.

Well, I was wrong.

According to the International Bottled Water Association, bottled water sales in 2012 totaled $11.8 billion. That was just in 2012. Bottled water has been on the market since the 1980s.

This made me wonder about other items that made no sense on the drawing board, but have succeeded anyway.

The first ...

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Velveeta, Ripple and Steve

I miss the days of Velveeta and ripple.

As a younger man, I considered myself a connoisseur of the finer things in life. Used Oldsmobiles, girls who parted their hair like Farrah Fawcett, and the occasional drink.

By occasional, I mean any occasion.

The late ’70’s were about as much like “That ’70s Show” as the ’50’s were like “Happy Days.” However, in the midst of all the manufactured nostalgia, what these two shows portrayed had a grain of truth to it.

We drank ...

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Easter Isn’t About Eggs

As a Christian, I enjoy the holidays of my faith, but I’m afraid that the real meaning of each is lost on most people.

Easter is no more about eggs and baskets than Christmas is about Santa and reindeer.

I’m not saying that pretty little girls in their dresses and hats, and little boys in their grownup-looking suits aren’t a nice touch, but showering children with clothes, cards and candy doesn’t teach them anything about why Christians celebrate today.

Of ...

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