“Here’s To You” Little Brother

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I am often amused by the wisdom reflected in my younger brother’s responses to my blogs. Sometimes he likes to “throw it out there” in an effort for both of us to recapture that “give and take”, “back and forth” thoughtful dialogue (aka -playful banter) from our younger years. I have to be careful of what I “throw out there” because he is really smart. Who would have thought that a degree in Greek would open a door to earning big-time oil money in Oklahoma?

A couple of weeks ago, in responding to one of my blogs, Larry made the suggestion: “You might consider anger management. Maybe, Becky (he was referring to my daughter-in-law who is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker) could run a Rorschach test or two on you. Maybe, she can do some type of Pavlov experiment on you. It is worth a try. Seriously, I am kidding”.

I was astounded. Sometimes I forget he is really smart. I know you’re thinking that is a put-down because he lives in Oklahoma, but you’re wrong. Don’t you remember? I talked about the importance of kindness and respect in yesterday’s blog. Seriously, how did Larry know about the Rorschach test? Who would have guessed that one’s perception of ten inkblots on white cards could be used to assess personality and emotional functioning? I was puzzled. In addition, Larry doesn’t like dogs any more than I do. How did he know about Pavlov’s dogs?

Larry lives in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. If you’ve not been to Broken Arrow, I’m not sure my skill set as a writer is advanced enough to fully capture the ambience and mystique of the setting. It is definitely a “happening place”, but it is not a twin sister to Tulsa. Tulsa is located about fourteen miles away. Tulsa has Oral Roberts University and the biggest praying hands I’ve ever seen. Reportedly, they were fashioned after the hands of the University’s founder.

A quick Google search yielded the following: “These mighty haymakers stand 60 feet high and weigh 30 tons, the largest bronze sculpture in the world. One would like to imagine that they are strong, American hands, but evangelist Oral Roberts outsourced their casting to Juarez, Mexico in 1980.

“The hands were originally called ‘The Healing Hands’ and they stood in front of Oral’s ‘City of Faith,’ a medical center devoted to faith healing. But the City of Faith wound up on the short end of a series of lawsuits and declared bankruptcy in 1989. The hands were then moved to the entrance drive of the university. Also on the property is the Oral Roberts Prayer Tower.

The City of Faith is now known as CityPlex Towers, and it houses corporate tenants. Its central tower stands 640 feet tall, which reportedly is the same height as the Jesus who appeared to Oral in a dream and told him to build it”.

If you’re thinking Tulsa and Broken Arrow are twin cities, you’re wrong. Broken Arrow doesn’t have anything that resembles 30 tons of bronze hands. However, the kind and capable folks who live there will gladly lend you a helping hand when needed. “Salt of the earth” kinds of people populate the place. I would wager a guess that Broken Arrow has more in common with Muskogee, located about 35 miles the other direction than it does with Tulsa.

Do you remember to the lyrics to Merle Haggard’s, “I’m an Okie From Muskogee? The first stanza gives you enough to mull on, so I won’t overstay my welcome and include all the lyrics. You’ll get the drift and know exactly the prototype of the folks who live in Broken Arrow.

We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee;

We don’t take no trips on LSD

We don’t burn no draft cards down on Main Street;

We like livin’ right, and bein’ free”.

I have nothing but praise for folks who like “livin’ right, and bein’ free.” The most thoughtful advice my “little brother” recently provided is this: “If you and your amigo don’t have anything more to worry about than that, you must be blessed. You boys sound like you’re ready for the spit and whittle bench out in front of the general store. Hey, I’m just saying…..”

“Yep”, my little brother lives in Oklahoma. You can see it in his choice of words. Brilliant; absolutely brilliant! At first I thought he was just “joshing” with me, but I discovered yesterday morning he was telling the truth. He is right, I could have it a lot worse.

I listened to a radio talk show yesterday where a young woman was complaining about her boyfriend. She had gone shopping for clothes with him and he insisted on buying pants that were too tight. I guess you could say he was just too big for his britches. At any rate, his girlfriend complained, because for whatever reason, he didn’t want to get a larger size. I understand that. I am going to clench my belt up as tightly as I can get it. That way I look skinner. Okay, you’re right. A more appropriate description is that “I look smaller”. I haven’t been skinny since high school. Thanks for calling me on that one. But isn’t it true? No one wants a larger waistline.

The talk show host asked the young woman to describe her boyfriend’s body type. I was familiar with “Sheldon’s Body Types” from psychology class in college. Was that really fifty years ago? I remembered the terms: ectomorphic (tall thin person), endomorphic (stocky person) and mesomorphic (muscular person). The girlfriend didn’t choose from any of those categories. She didn’t say where she’s from, but based on her answer, I suspect it is north of the Red River. She said, “Athletic that’s gone to seed”.

I wasn’t’ familiar with the expression “gone to seed”. Reportedly, “You’ve gone to seed when you no longer look good.” That’s not a very nice thing for someone to say about anyone. She obviously needs to read my blog about kindness and respect. I’d be highly insulted if the General suggested to anyone that I’ve gone to seed. It is bad enough when I read her mind and she’s thinking, “I need to go out to pasture.”

All My Best!

Don

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