The World Changers Meet Again

Well, it’s not that we haven’t been meeting, but since the departure of our Eldest Gentleman for retirement facilities in the “big city,” it hasn’t been quite the same.  This day was different, however, when who would walk in but our visiting missing member to brighten up the morning.  I tried to get the group to “break forth with song” as in “Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here,” but they didn’t seen too interested.  In short order, it was like old times.  We apparently had so much to say, that we couldn’t all stay on the same topic, so various conversations were going on simultaneously.  I might add that as of late a very distinguished couple we all have known for decades has regularly joined our meetings (or maybe we have joined theirs?).  Here are a few of the more memorable topics.

One member brought a very mysterious photo that surfaced recently, of which he had no previous knowledge.  On the dusty plains of his upbringing it showed him mounted on a horse holding the reins in one hand and having the other posited on his hip in a very cocky manner.  The rolled brim of his cowboy hat looked worn and authentic.  He was about five years old.  He remembered the pride rising up within when a respected uncle commented; “You fit good on the horse” (my paraphrase).  Few things were of greater honor for a boy on the farm/ranch than those words coming from one who really knew.  All of us humans ache for such confirmation of worth whether at five, fifty-five or older.  We seem never to outgrow the need for approval.

Not sure how we got on snakes other than one of our veterans recounting how out in the field on training or otherwise, when the latrine was a ways off, the guys would just find a convenient bush nearby.  Some of the resulting rattlesnake bites got us laughing.  I told about our daughter bringing home a baby snake from school when their class pet had many offspring.  I’m sure many of them went right back to the classroom, but she got to keep hers.  Her mom brought home “pinkies” from the university’s research lab and tossed them in the aquarium for snake meals.  I always rooted for the baby rat, but it never won.  The snake did escape once, but after the cat tried to eat it, unsuccessfully, I don’t think it ever wanted out again.

Speaking of football, were we not?  Our Eldest Gentleman has adapted well in his new pretty large retirement environment and has made many acquaintances, one of which happened to mention that he was a former football player.  Suddenly the name Don took on a whole new meaning.  Our Elder then asked, “You’re not Don Perkins are you”? Low and behold, living in their midst was the legendary running back for the Dallas Cowboys whose wife had passed several years back.  Don Perkins played for the state’s major university before becoming a “Ring of Honor” player in Dallas, Texas.  Now for the rest of the story.

Our family lived in that same city for many years before relocating.  We lived in an area of the city that was very diverse in standards of housing.  Very expensive home developments were built sort of adjacent to older “peasant” home areas, which happened to be where we lived.  Don Perkins, retired now from football, lived in the new higher classed homes, and we happened to be in the same school district.  Our middle child was in the fifth or sixth grade when he came home one day and told us he had a new friend who happened to be Don Perkins daughter.  As I recall, he liked her because she was the only one he couldn’t catch.  Everyone there knew Don Perkins, who came back to live where he had attended college.  Now for the best part of the rest of the story, really.

Our area was sort of rural where folks interacted easily, including the school system.  There was an active attempt to involve parents, especially on an evening event where volunteer parents were to perform.  As we sat in the audience, the music started playing and entering through a side wing from backstage came five or six fathers tip-toeing along to the music in ballet fashion wearing tights and tutu’s.  As I recall Don Perkins was wearing a real cute frilly pink one, which didn’t, however, negate the dichotomy of star-running-back-of-the-Dallas Cowboys status.  As you can imagine, these fathers’ ballet performance was a resounding hit.  Some things you never forget.  Perkins eventually retired once again from state and city government work after his stellar football career.

I’ll end with a funny event at the Wednesday meeting of our House Church, as we call it.  On the house rotation it was now my responsibility for a lesson that ended up being a sing-a-long, which we do periodically.  Often we have had several musicians who play while everyone sings.  One of our members has had throat problems that hamper her singing so to participate she whistles.  She does not whistle like you and I, but very strong, accurate, and with vibrato.

Pat has a Cockatiel named RB (rotten bird), who says a few words, and does a wolf and charge whistle.  In RB’s advanced age she (or he) has settled down considerably and only occasionally vocalizes.  However, during our sing-a-long, when our member began to whistle along, RB suddenly “burst into whistle.”  Not subtly, but with reckless abandon and piercing volumn.  I’ll swear (if I did) that RB was hitting some right notes along the way in her (or his) soaring rhapsodic offering.  She (or he) had everyone’s attention and laughter.  I don’t recall exactly, but it seems RB burst forth on the old Gospel song “I’ll Fly Away!”







  1. Haha! Old RB found it’s voice again! I’m sure he (she) would fly away into the glorious sunset if allowed…old bird. 😉

  2. Hi Rachael,
    Yes RB would surely love to fly away never knowing that her(his) life is going to be real short out in the cold, cruel world of mean old birds and cats!


  3. Well, I’ll be darn! I had totally forgotten about the dads in tutu’s! It’s a small world after all. :). Who is the new couple, and did they pass the membership test?…….do they have their own McDonald’s cup??
    This was a funny one, Dad. 🙂

  4. Hi Laura,
    The couple is Grant and Phyllis (Eggleton) Hurst. Our membership requirements are stringent; you must be breathing. The last meeting was at Burger King where senior coffee is free; no need for a cup The new McDonald’s is too much like a European Bistro and it feels like sitting in an Ikea showroom. We were going to identify your snake which Mom thought was Zoe, but we weren’t sure. Yes, the world is shrinking.


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