Richard Hudson

There Is An Alternative, Don'tchaknow.

 

You know, I never complain about getting older, nor am I ashamed of my age. Every day when I read page 2 in the local paper I see it is a privilege denied to many. Old dudes rock.

 

The Importance Of Family

 

In January of 2017, that's last year for those of you from Austin, a retired minister friend of ours, Bro H.H. Davis, asked Conchieta and I if we would help him with music, since he had been asked to be an interim Pastor for a church in Sulphur, just north of us. We told him sure. We would be glad to do it. Well, after a few months a new Pastor was appointed, Bro Larry Landtroop and his family. Bro Larry asked us if we would stay on, and we agreed to stay. I told him up front that all I knew how to do were the old fashioned songs out of the hymnal. I was honest with him and told him that I don't do the modern 7/11 praise and worship songs. I told him that when someone comes along that can do that stuff that I will gladly step aside and my feelings are not hurt, because we are just there to do what we can as long as you need us.

The first Sunday we went, there was Bro Davis, two other couples, a single gentleman, and Conchieta and I. This is in an auditorium that can probably seat about 300 quite comfortably. The Oklahoma State School For The Deaf is right across the street West from the church. As a consequence, the church has a separate congregation and Pastor for the deaf. They have about 30-40 in attendance. A few months back Pastor Larry invited the deaf congregation to join us for a combined worship service. There was a couple that came along with them that knew how to sign, so that the deaf would know what was going on when Pastor Larry was speaking, and he would also interpret the deaf Pastor's signing when he was out front. The whole experience was really a blessing to me, to see the enthusiasm and joy in their faces as they worshipped, even though they couldn't hear.

Now, here is the part that brought me to tears, to the point that I almost had to stop singing. This was my first experience to be in a worship service with those that could not hear, and I was totally unprepared for what was going to happen when I stood to lead the congregation in the singing of hymns. I chose a couple of upbeat spiritual type songs to do. I gave the page number in the hymnal, and the deaf people turned to the hymn just like everyone else did. When they saw the name of the song we were going to do, "Power In The Blood," their countenance changed instantly. Big smiles came on their faces, and when I began to lead the congregation in the song, they all, everyone of them, started signing the words to the song, with a smile and look of joy that you can't imagine unless you were there. I was overwhelmed by the joy and enthusiasm in their worship. Here I was so pious in my thinking that I thought we would be able to encourage them, and boy did that backfire as their actions blessed me in a way that I haven't been in a long time.

Well, this morning we had another combined service, and this time their pastor, Pastor Nathan, brought the message by signing. So, here again, I am ashamed because I thought this would be something we would have to endure, but we would be nice and act like we enjoyed it. And, again, my precious Lord humbled me as Pastor Nathan, with great enthusiasm, told us about the importance of being a family in our worship. We talk about the family of God a lot, but this morning Pastor Nathan showed me what being a part of the family of God really meant. He told the story about how a family had a get together, and all of the kids were outside playing a game in which one of the children would be blindfolded and he had to reach out and touch someone who would then be, "it," so to speak, and then another, and another. What was different about this gathering was that one of the little boys was deaf. When the kids that could hear were blindfolded, they could hear their playmates and could tell where they were, but when the deaf boy was blindfolded he didn't have that advantage. He kept trying to find someone to tag, and he was unable to find anyone, so he took off the blindfold, and everyone was gone. What had happened was that while he was blindfolded someone yelled from the house that dinner was ready, so the kids, not thinking, just broke and ran toward the house and started eating. So the little deaf boy was heartbroken that his family had left him outside. Then Pastor Nathan admitted, that the little boy he was telling about was him, and it really happened that way. His message really hit home as he used this to illustrate how important it is to be a family that cares about one another. He made his point very clearly.

Pastor Nathan's message not only applies to a church family, but we could all take this to heart, and care for each other. We can be the ears for those who can't hear. The eyes for those who can't see. We can bring the message for those who can't speak. We can be the strength for those who are weak.

Whether you believe in God or not. Try a little kindness. It goes a long way.

 

Being Successful

 

Don't step on someone else to climb the ladder of success.

 

Toad In The Hole?

 

Conchieta been watching the Pioneer Woman on TV, and she tried out one of her creations this morning. Where she takes a slice of bread, cuts a biscuit sized hole out of the middle, toasts the bread with a fried egg in the hole. I was going to take a picture to show you, but it just looked so good when she brought it to me that the evidence was quickly gone, along with a slice of a bone in dry ham that we cooked again with a brown sugar/pineapple mix a couple of days ago. We'll probably do that again, soon.

And the holes out of the middle of the bread? Well, they got toasted also, and maple syrup? Yeah, it was good. I should have dabbed a little bit of crunchy p-nut butter on top. I'll do that next time when I'm not in such a hurry.

Are you still wondering why I can't get back down to my fighting weight?

  

Now, it's time for my 3rd cup.

 

Dion DiMucci

 

Back in the day, the rock and roll stars would caravan and do star packed shows. Duane Eddy talks about Dion a lot. He said later when they were in a bus traveling, there was always a guitar around, and Dion would sing while Duane played. They both were huge Hank Williams fans, well still are, but Duane said when Dion would sing, "I Can't Help It," he would just about tear your heart out. Dion is one of the great ones. He had it then, and still has it now.

 

Remembering Mama

 

I've always been a little more reluctant than others to stay busy. Some call that lazy, but what do they know? I remember when I was little, Daddy would come by my bed a couple of times, and say, "Rich, it's time to get up." That usually didn't do it, but when Mama would say, "Breakfast is ready!" Man, out of that bed I would come. Always hot homemade biscuits, and your imagination could just run away with you from there.

I know lots of folks claim to have the best Mama in the world, and that's only natural, but I don't see how my sweet Mama could have been any better. She was just a country girl that got married as a teenager, and started having babies right away. She loved to sing and play guitar. Her only mission in life was to take care of my Dad, along with me and my brother. And, I'm sitting here thinking, I took all of that for granted.

So, if your Mom is still walking on this earth, just know that you are among the privileged. Don't take her for granted. She will be too soon old, and someday just a distant memory. Place your Mom on a pedestal. She deserves it.

 

The Rev Dr Martin Luther King jr

 

I have heard a lot of great speakers in my day, but never one so inspirational as the Rev Dr Martin Luther King jr. I was in my very early twenties when Dr King's quest for equality among the races was gaining momentum. I remember watching the news the day he made his famous, "I Have A Dream" speech from the Washington Mall. I remember having goose bumps that day, and again even today when I think about it.

Conchieta and I were talking earlier today, and both of us remember seeing water fountains marked "Colored Only," and rest rooms would be marked "Colored Only." In my few times to be in a big city, I remember seeing entrances to hotels and restaurants in the alleys marked "Colored Entrance." How could we ever, as a society, ever have been so narrow minded in our thinking? I remember when I was going to a little country school in south Seminole County. At Vamoosa there were no African Americans in our school. Actually none lived in our district, but close by there were African American school kids that would get on a bus every day for the trip to Seminole, some 20 miles away, and back every day for school. I remember as a young boy being puzzled by that, and I asked about it and was told that is where their school is. Well, it didn't make sense to me then, and I am appalled thinking about it now.

We have come a long way from then, but there are still some of those ingrained prejudices. None of us, black or white, should ever teach our kids to hate someone whose skin is a different color than ours. We have the opportunity to perfect what has been started and have the greatest society in the history of the world. We will never get there until we can lay our prejudices down and work together for the betterment of mankind.

We should all be inspired to reach for Dr King's dream.

 

Winning The Lottery

 

Did I tell you about my friend who won the lottery? He and his lovely wife had split several months prior, but, miraculously after he won the lottery she came back to him. They were at a dinner party shortly after that, among some other couples they had never met before. As he was getting acquainted with one couple, he introduced himself, and said, "This is my lovely wife. She has stood by me through thick."

P.S. I must admit, I stole that punch line from my guitar hero, Chet Atkins, but he probably stole it from someone before that.

 

Will Rogers

 

"There are two theories to arguing with a woman...neither works."

- Will Rogers

 

Artist

 

The word, artist, can mean a number of things, yet all meanings have a way of coming back to the same thing. Admittedly, when I hear the word, the first thought that comes to my mind is that of someone who grabs a palette, dabs on various colors, with a brush in the other hand, starts dabbing paint on a surface until the rendering begins to become recognizable in whatever form, and expresses what the artist had in mind. Sometimes the painting is just a thing of beauty to admire, such as a bluebird sitting on a limb, singing its song of the morning. Maybe an inanimate object, but still something to admire. Many times there is hidden beauty where one must be particularly astute to see what the artist had in mind, but didn't display openly. Sometimes there is a hidden message in an expression. Of course we could go on endlessly to the possibilities. Such is the beauty of art.

However, art is not limited to simply painted portraits. A songwriter can paint a picture with the lyrics, and in arranging the words within a lyric, even the choice of wording, and timing, and placement can have various effects on what impression is portrayed or extended. I have loved country music since my early childhood, and probably my favorite country songwriter is Hank Williams. Hank was a troubled man who lived a miserable life in many ways, yet there was a happy man, a man full of hope, even faith, that struggled to make himself known, as well as the troubled man that seemed to emerge somewhere, usually in the liquor bottle. Hank could paint a picture of sadness and despair with his words in such a fashion that you could feel it, and even see it in your mind. "...the moon just went behind the clouds, to hide its face and cry." Of course, from Hank's song, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." At another place he wrote, "I've never seen a night so long, when time goes crawling by," and, "That midnight train is whining low, I'm so lonesome I could cry." Every line in that sad old song keeps painting a picture of a person who was so down in despair, so hopeless and lonesome that the only thing left to do was to cry. Sad? Oh, yes, but at the same time so beautiful in painting such a vivid picture with words.

Hank wrote a lot of sad songs, but he also wrote happy songs. "My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh my-o. Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou." Or how about this one, "Hey, Good lookin'. What ya got cookin'? How's about cookin' something up with me?" Totally different picture painted that time.

Then there are artists who portray life portraits by acting. Whether it be theater, big screen, small screen, a one man traveling show, it normally involves a person pretending to be something or someone they are not, but yet pretending with such passion and skill that we drift off into fantasyland, believing they really are what they portray. That is why we call it acting. As an example, to me Val Kilmer is Doc Holliday. Now, of course, I never witnessed Doc Holliday in person, but Val Kilmer's portrayal of this old West gunslinger was so believable that I probably would be disappointed if I could go back in time and meet the real Doc Holliday. Val Kilmer is an artist, and there are many more who possess that kind of talent.

Musical instrumentalists have artists also. When Percy Faith's orchestra played "Theme From A Summer Place," I was there. In my mind, of course. The music took me there. When Liberace played "Beer Barrel Polka," I was on the dance floor bouncing to that addictive polka rhythm. I have never danced a polka in my life, except in my mind, and it would never have been possible had it not been for artists like Liberace. When Senor Jorge Morel played "Misionera," I was a Flamenco dancer. Ole!!!

Art can take very simple forms. Complexity does not necessarily dictate the level of meaning. Some of the simple drawings my kids made when they were little mean more to me than the Mona Lisa, although if I am ever privileged to visit the Louvre, I am sure I will stand and marvel at the beauty of the lady with the slight smile.

I am not qualified to tie all of this together into some beautiful meaning, but if I succeeded in making you stop and think about the beauty in your own life, even if tinged with sadness, then my mission is accomplished.

Make a difference, wherever you are, and in whatever you do. Do your best. Always.