As published in the White River Current - Thursday May 21, 2015
“It was a dark and stormy night.” A huge clap of thunder had awakened me. I rolled over and sleepily glanced at the alarm clock on the bedside table. It was blinking which indicated that the electricity had been off and every electric clock in the house (seven, counting the clock radios) would have to be reset for the zillionth time. Well, maybe five or six times so far this year. I’m such a perfectionist that it takes me at least fifteen or twenty minutes to perform the resetting task. I doubt if you are interested, but here is how I do it: I grab my battery powered atomic clock, which is accurate to one-millionth of a second, and, figuring that was close enough to the correct time, go from clock to clock until all eight clocks register the same hour and minute. I click the clock’s minute button just as the seconds of the atomic clock jumps from 59 to 00. It takes a little dexterity and quickness, and I maybe lose a few thousandth of a second, but I always feel personally rewarded for a job well done. Twice a year, daylight savings time, I have to reset the clocks in the cars also, but that’s another story and they don’t keep accurate time.
Rambling along, and congratulations to the graduating CRHS seniors, a very handsome group whose pictures appeared in last week’s Current. I well remember my senior year, 1947. Gracious sakes alive! That’s 68 years ago. Seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for our senior trip to Memphis where we stayed in the King Cotton Hotel and visited the Pink Palace and other attractions. This was B-E (before Elvis). We had previously been honored at the Junior/Senior banquet by the class of 1948. Now we were ready to receive our diplomas. The baccalaureate service was held at the Methodist church at 11:00 AM on Sunday with all the churches dismissing so that everyone could attend. The choir sang “Consider the Lilies” and Rev. Watson preached the sermon. The following Friday, in the old gymnasium, the commencement exercises were held with my Uncle Roy Perryman addressing the class. (If you attend the all-school reunion on June 13th, be sure to check out our class picture.) High School graduation is the end of a long period of preparation and the beginning of the rest of your life. Some will continue their education while others will chose different paths. My suggestion is to get all the advice you can, from your counselor and perhaps from your pastor. When I graduated, I had already made a decision to go to pharmacy school, enrolling at the College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, the only pharmacy school in the state at the time. The pharmacy school moved from Clarksville to Little Rock in 1951, the year I graduated. The transition from high school senior to college freshman is a giant step. I was enrolled with students who were mostly older (I was 16) and from larger schools. It took a while before I realized that I could compete, even though I was a graduate of a much smaller school. The point of this discussion is that if you set the goal that you want to attain and keep your focus, you can succeed. Of course, there were times that I wondered if I had made the right decision. For instance, I had been encouraged by some to transfer to medical school. I considered but kept my original plans. I’m glad I did. To further illustrate my point, I recently read an article that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine that described the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Garth Brooks classic hit, “The Dance.” Described by Garth as his favorite song and used quite often as a closer at his concerts, this ballad was composed in 1989 by Tony Arata and appeared on Garth’s first album. By the way, I have a photo of Garth and my grandson, Ross, magnetted to my refrigerator door. Ross learned all Garth’s songs when he was growing up (“here’s the way Garth holds his guitar, Granddad). In the song, Garth sings “Looking back on the memory…” and “Yes, my life is better left to chance. I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance.” In an interview in 2013, Garth commented on this song when he said “You don’t get to pick and choose your memories on life. You have to go with things as they play out. You don’t get to alter them.” Change one memory and you change them all.