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  1. #81
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NWFL
    Posts
    15,265
    An embellished story
    June, 1865
    SOMEWHERE IN ALABAMA...a threadbare figure trudges down a dusty country road. Heís gaunt, unshaven, unwashed, shoulders slumping a bit, rather a despondent sort of character. He is Captain Davis, discharged from the Army of the Confederacy six weeks ago at Greensboro, NC after serving his country faithfully for the past four years. He's a civilian now and walking back to his home in Kosciusko, Mississippi. It'll take him most of the summer. He's eager to get back home, but at the same time, anxious as to what he is returning to - mail has been unreliable in the Confederacy of late; the last letter he had from his wife was eight months ago. These are uncertain times, and he doesn't know if he will find his family and neighbors alive, or where they may be. He is fairly sure how he will find his farm - after four years without its master's hand, the fields will be overgrown, stock run off, house and fences in poor condition, IF still standing.
    He's just spent the last four years of his life engaged in a War, and got whipped, and THOROUGHLY whipped, and he knows it; all that he has fought for has been lost. It shows in his attitude and his stance; it's difficult not to be dejected. The last couple of years have been Hard Times in the South, and there's the strong possibility times will become even harder.
    He doesn't have much. The patched gray uniform he's wearing, cracked boots with one sole starting to flop, a Leech and Rigdon revolver with one nipple broken, a pocketknife, a blanket folded to make a pack containing a skillet made of a canteen half nailed to a stick, a small sewing kit, half a Bible (he's been through desperate times recently, desperate indeed to force him to tear pages from his beloved Pocket Testament), and in one jacket pocket, a piece of cloth carefully wrapped around a dozen apple seeds. He takes out these seeds occasionally and gazes at them, then returns them to his pocket.

    A couple of weeks ago, somewhere in the Carolinas, some kind soul took pity on him and gave him three apples. He ate them right away, stems, cores, and all, first food he had had in three days, and thought they were the very finest apples he had ever eaten. The seeds, though, he thoughtfully saved the seeds...

    A few years ago he would have had no regard whatsoever for a palm full of apple seedsójust trash to be spat upon the ground after enjoying the fruit. Things are different now. To Captain Davis, those few apple seeds represent something. They are Something of Value; they' represent HOPE, a promise of better things to come, a possibility of someday feeding his family...in his mind, they are his most valuable possession. Hope, and Promise, and Possibility those things are short on the ground nowadays, and he seizes these things to his breast.. desperately. He envisions his children wandering amongst the vast forest of apple trees he will plant from these seeds, plucking unblemished apples from fruit-laden boughs as pink and white petals flutter down around them, while the most delicious aroma in the world fil1s the air...hogs and horses fatten on the drops. This is a dream worth holding onto. Those apple seeds are his Treasure, and he guards them carefully.


    In time, he does make it home. Some things are better than he expected, some worse. His wife is still alive; one child has died of a fever. His parents have passed away, but his wife's parents are still alive. The house has burned down, but the barn is in good condition. The fields are overgrown with blackberries and sweet gum sprouts, but he knows they can be burned off in the coming winter, and the ashes will enrich the soil. He plants those apple seeds his second day home, in a prime spot, and tends them carefully. Most do sprout, and in time, produce fruit. All but one tree makes hard, sour crabapples, which he makes into cider. The one tree, though, makes very nice eating apples, pretty color, and good flavor. He digs sprouts to plant several more around his property, and does feed his family with them, and after a number of years even 'has enough to sell for cash. His neighbors all want trees of this apple, and he generously shares them.

    When Captain Davis is an old, old man, and his grandsons build him a bench under the original tree. He sits there often, when the weather is nice, and reflects upon his life. Occasionally he looks up at the limbs, and muses to himself, "Ah, well, at least I got ONE good thing out of that damn war.

    OK, this story is 99% pure speculation and imagination on my part, but the basic facts are there. Don't you think this is likely the way it happened? I'm a Southerner myself. Bred and born; we're not a folk to let a few facts interfere with the telling of a good story.
    By Larry Stephenson,
    Chief Orchardist at Southern Cultured Orchards & Nursery Lives in Carrollton, Mississippi
    Historical account of this event.
    Davis apple _2019-11-01 Old Southern Apples.png

    https://books.google.com/books?id=XC...ssippi&f=false
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    641
    Great thread! This last Sunday, I became a grandpa and I’m over the moon right now!

    JB

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    655
    Quote Originally Posted by bassbones View Post
    Great thread! This last Sunday, I became a grandpa and I’m over the moon right now!

    JB
    Brother, I am a first-time grandfather as well and just celebrated my little man's 1st birthday! There is nothing in this world like grandkids. They are the best and reveal to you all that is right in this world.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    In a positive state of mind
    Posts
    3,779
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos View Post
    Brother, I am a first-time grandfather as well and just celebrated my little man's 1st birthday! There is nothing in this world like grandkids. They are the best and reveal to you all that is right in this world.
    What tops having grandkids is having great grandkids and being around to enjoy them. Trust me on that. I have four, three great grandsons and one great granddaughter. And yeah, I'm bragging.

  5. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    547
    My cataract surgery on the right eye went OK. I'm still getting used to the idea of having 20/20 distance vision in that eye...I wore glasses for decades, then the cataract clobbered that. After it stabilizes, I'll get a set of shooting glasses made up so I can shoot iron sights well.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3,565
    Outstanding. Life without specs is a game changer. The for-real kind.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    240. And a wakeup.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3,184
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike OTDP View Post
    My cataract surgery on the right eye went OK. I'm still getting used to the idea of having 20/20 distance vision in that eye...I wore glasses for decades, then the cataract clobbered that. After it stabilizes, I'll get a set of shooting glasses made up so I can shoot iron sights well.
    Dunno if you'll need them, or anyone else who reads this, but these guys http://sportsoptical.com/ will make a bifocal with the near vision at the top of the lens to make it easier/more natural to shoot iron sights.

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    654
    I got a new job. Starting a new career actually.
    I've been euro car mechanic for the last 15 years, over all been a mechanic for 18.5 years.
    The last several years, as I looked at the older guys in this field, I realized I didn't want to do this the rest of my life. Being good at what I do, I did make a decent pay, but still I knew in my core I could be better and more successful at other things.
    Various things came to a head this year and I saw it as a good time to pursue a change.
    Starting tomorrow I will be working as a inside sales guy and trainer for a large company. While it will be an adjustment I'm very optimistic and eager.

    I know I've been blessed to have this opportunity but I'd be arrogant to not mention the encouragement I get from this forum.
    To the guys whom never settle, always push for more, and encouraging others here to do the same, you know who are, thank you.

    -Gary
    Be alert, stand firm in the faith, act like a man, be strong. Your every action must be done with love.

    ďAdversity introduces a man to himself.Ē

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3,565
    Congratulations!
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    240. And a wakeup.

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NW NM
    Posts
    374
    Quote Originally Posted by ballistic_ken View Post
    I recently started college, Jan 14th to be precise. I turned 50 Jan 15th. It was a bit rough relearning how to learn after a 30 + years in the oilfield. The job had transferred me to ND and sold the local assets. 2 years in ND was enough. I am now an unemployed 50 year old college student. It feels like a whole new world of opportunities are ahead of me. best feeling ever.

    Knowing I could whoop each of the young kids that are my classmates makes me smile too!
    I know quoting myself is lame!

    Today I completed the course, will graduate with my certification in Instrumentation, Controls, and Electronics. I made it, and with a 4.0 GPA to boot! Presidents Honor Roll!
    Now to find a job.
    Stupid Should Hurt!!!!!


    "The 47% are not your friends and its time you stopped feeding them." Gabe Suarez

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