Sun Comes Up, It’s Friday Morning

Now Playing: Beethoven’s 9th, by far my favorite classical piece. Haven’t decided whether I’ll skip the third movement or not (I usually do).

The title of today’s post is from one of my favorite Cowboy Junkies song, which is really a series of kinda random reflections on a particular day: “Thinking of things that don’t have to add up to something,” as Margo sings it.

So that’s what I’m going to do today, my last day at home before beginning a contract copyediting job at Red Ventures here in the Greater Indian Trail metro area (actually, it’s technically in Fort Mill, S.C.). I’m looking forward to it, but it means my blogging will be limited to nights and weekends, so it might be awhile before I post again. Or not – you never know.

Sun Comes Up, It’s Friday Morning … and I still hate using microwave ovens.

OK, I do use them when I have to. They’re OK for heating leftover pasta or soup or chili or stuff like that. But warm a steak in the microwave? You might as well eat leather. Chicken? You might as well eat rubber. A pork chop? Well, you get the point.

When I do use them, there’s usually a little quirk involved – big surprise, right?

I like to set the time sequentially. By that, I mean that if I want to cook something three minutes, I either set the timer for 3:21 or for 2:34, whichever is likely to give the best results. For four minutes, 4:32 or 3:45.

It just seems to make the food turn out better.

Sun Comes Up, It’s Friday Morning … and for some reason I’m reminded of all the one-legged people I’ve known in my life. Actually, I know why I’m reminded of it. A Facebook friend of mine posted yesterday that she was going camping this weekend for the first time. And going camping reminds me of people with one leg. I’ll get to why in a minute.

There was my biology teacher in high school, I think his name was Mr. Robinson. We only had him for not quite one semester – I’ll get to why later. Mr. Robinson, if that was his name, had been a star basketball player at some small college or another. At least in his mind, he had some NBA prospects. But he’d lost a leg – I can’t remember which one – from the knee down in a car crash – possibly on the way to camp.

And boy was he bitter about it. I got along with nearly every teacher in high school – but he was the exception to that rule. I thought he was prickly, a smart ass and a know-it-all. Which meant he was something like me. We argued over projects – I did a half-assed one on fruit flies in which I drew – and I can’t draw at all – a cartoonish fruit fly. He ridiculed it, begrudgingly admitting that the info in it was good even if the illustration sucked.

I considered him a crappy teacher, and we weren’t headed for a good outcome. But then Mr. Robinson, if that was his name, got fired. We heard he got a DUI, but I don’t know this for fact. The best part was that they replaced Mr. Robinson, if that was his name, with a former beauty queen. And she might have been nicer than she was pretty. It was her first job, and we kinda ran all over her, even though we liked her – we LIKED her, liked her, in fact. Or at least I did.

The next two one-legged people I met I liked much more. Both, as it turns out, and I swear I’m not making this up, worked in newspaper photography.

Second things first, I’ll take about Jamey, whom I met when I worked at The Gaston Gazette. Jamey was the photo editor and a good guy in a department of good guys. I don’t claim to know for sure, but I think he was missing a leg from birth. (He also had some issues with his fingers.) He wore a prosthetic leg and managed to get around just fine. Sometimes he’d tap the prosthesis, which would remind you it was there.

I left after four years there for Henderson, where I was editor. And we brought Jamey in primarily as our IT guy (we shared him with another paper, but I have to admit we got more than our share of work from him because of our prior relationship). He helped me create and manage the website, and he was a mentor for our young but outstanding photographer, Ashley. I’ve lost touch with Jamey, but I think he’s still in the Raleigh area.

That leaves the other one-legged photographer I’ve known, my friend R.D. Benedict. R.D. lost a leg to cancer when he was a teenager. But I’ve never known a less handicapped person in my life.

I met R.D. when he started working at The Daily News in Jacksonville. He was a local guy, and his primary role was to prepare color separations for the newspaper. (It’s one of those processes that was there for awhile and now isn’t – as, sadly, is true about so much of newspapers.)

R.D. had a prosthesis, but I never saw him wear it. He used to say it was uncomfortable.

He preferred to just pin up his jeans or shorts and use crutches. But he was pretty nifty on crutches. R.D. could balance a plate of barbecue and a beer better than anybody. He could whip me bowling (OK, he abandoned the crutches and just hopped down the lane to the foul line for that).

Best of all was going to King’s Dominion with him and his now wife, Steph. Because we had a “handicapped” person in the group, we didn’t have to wait in line for any of the rides. We just moved right to the front. And if we wanted to ride again, they let us. What a great deal!

But here’s how “handicapped” R.D. was in reality. He’s the one who drove us from J-ville to Northern Virginia – pretty good haul.

Here’s another example of “handicapped” R.D. was. Whenever we’d go camping (see, I told you I’d get back to it), R.D. would set up the tents. We had some great times hanging out at the Northwoods Tavern, too. R.D. and I had a magic trick that had everyone at our table mystified. I miss him a lot.

Sun Comes Up, It’s Friday Morning … and I don’t understand Twitter at all. Oh, I understand how to use it, and do. But I’m not on it all that much. What I don’t understand is the follow notifications I occasionally get. I’ve had a few from Arthur Murray dance studios around the globe. I guess they just see the name. But I got one this a.m. from an organization of young professionals here in Charlotte. Professional? I qualify – sometimes. Young? Not so much. And then I got another this a.m. from someone who promised to give me the latest news on handball. Who know there was any?

Sun Comes Up, It’s Friday Morning … and I really, really want to beat N.C. State.

“A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt


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