Mack Thompson, Editor
I suppose all of us at some time look back on our life and wish we could experience an event or do something just one more time. But, the passage of time and the aging process prevents those wishes. I find myself allowing my mind to wander to those times more often now and thought I would share them with you. I’m sure they will spark memories of your own.
I wish I could wake up on a cool crisp December morning and go to the farm with my Dad and our old setter bird dog Skippy. To be able to walk those fields and thickets where the quail hid from us one more time would be fantastic. Watching the dog work and Dad talking to him was magical. Is it was if they were actually one in the field, each knowing what the other was thinking at all times. For me as a young lad it was solely about the hunt. But as I think back I realize that Dad was taken back to his youth walking the same ground he grew up on. For him it was about being there.
I would love to see my mother as she was ready to leave the house for church. Her dress would be crisp and bright, her hair teased and sprayed and her makeup perfect. I always thought she looked like a queen. Don’t get me wrong, a queen that could still pinch an ear when her son misbehaved even a little while sitting in that pew at the big Baptist Church in Paragould. While we’re on Mom I have to include Thanksgiving dinner at our house. The whole extended family would be there including grandparents and uncles, aunts and cousins. It was the only time all year she used the good china she kept on display in the wooden hutch in the living room. The food was always plentiful and delicious. I remember the first time I got to sit at the “Big Table” with the adults instead of at the bar in the kitchen, man was I proud. What I wouldn’t give to see those folks alive again.
I was lucky enough to play on a really good football team when I was in High School at Paragould. All of us were great friends and played extra hard for each other as well as the coaches. What I wouldn’t gi ve to be eighteen again and suitup and join my friends to play in just one more game. The smell of the fresh cut grass and crisp fall night under the lights. The roar of the crowd when we did something good and the band playing as the cheerleaders screamed. Some of the best times of my life, but I’m well passed those days now.
Speaking of uniforms, I’d love to be able to put my State Police uniform on one more time, and yes it would still fit, and go out on a Saturday night and patrol the highways of Sharp County. It was a good feeling knowing that people depended on me and others to watch over things and maintain order. I especially loved the way little kids would look at me in my “clown suit”. I always took time to acknowledge them and maybe give them a plastic badge or sticker. I wonder if they do that anymore.
Speaking of kids, I”d give anything to be able to rock my kids or grandkids to sleep just one more time. The look in their eyes as they dropped off knowing they were loved and safe was the best feeling in the world. It might be a little awkward now that my youngest is eighteen and engaged, but I bet she might still let me.
I wish I could go with my wife and friends to Hoppers in Mountain Home and dance the night away again. Jerry Hopper and his band would play all of our favorite songs and we would two step around the floor. At the end of the night we would all drive home sweaty and tired and still laughing at the events of the evening. I think I can still two step, but I think I can still do a lot of things that I might not be able to anymore.
These are just a few of the things I would like to do if I could just one more time. The passing of friends and loved ones and the aging process eliminates those possibilities. I suppose I could be sad that I can no longer experience those things or be glad I ever got to. Since I’m a glass half full type of guy I’m sure you can guess which one I choose. Now go and make your own list.