W H I S T L E
b y Lin Stone
I wasn't even thinking about it. My whistling simply echoed around me in happy, ecstatic trills. But after 42 long years Daddy finally asked me: "Son, how did you ever learn to whistle like that?"My thoughts raced backwards to that day around the hot stove with the radio playing.
"You done it, Daddy." I told him.
"You taught me how."
Well, he didn't believe it.
Daddy shook his head. "No. Nobody in our family knows how to whistle, son. I didn't teach you how."
And the years were stripped away more surely than ever. "Yeah you did, Daddy. You taught me how. When we lived on Narramore ranch you told me that you had always wanted to whistle, but never learned how. You said that if I ever learned how to whistle a tune you'd give me a dollar."
He almost remembered.
His eyes grew misty, and mine glistened too as I continued. "Boy Daddy, I practiced for months, but my mouth just wasn't made right. All I could ever get was some piercing shrieks. I must have given up on the project a thousand times. Only, I never give up on anything.
"So I always came back to give it another shot. Sometimes my whistle would get a little better, and I'd think, Hey, this is good enough. So I'd sneak in close beside you and try to whistle you a tune.
"You never said nothing. Never a word. I don't think you even heard. Most of the time you never even looked at me when I tried.
"So I'd know I wasn't really whistling, and I'd give up again. Only I never give up on anything. And I kept coming back to it. I knew that someday I'd be good enough. Someday I'd whistle a tune so good that you knowed it was a tune. I was going to earn that dollar. And boy, many a time when I NEEDED that dollar I'd fly into practicing again even though you were a hundred miles away.
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|"Finally I done it.
It was years later. Down in a foxhole in Korea I whistled a real tune. I was so excited I could hardly wait to get home and strut my stuff in front of you.
I practiced on that one tune for months. Only, when I finally got home and whistled, your head just turned the other way. After all that practicing, I still wasn't good enough to whistle you a real tune.
"I gave up again, and again. Only I never give up on anything. And I kept coming back to practice my whistling all over again because I was determined to earn that dollar from you if it was the last thing I ever did on earth. Over the years I've whistled a tune for you a thousand times. But you never seemed to hear me, Daddy.
"Gradually I realized you'd forgotten your words. Finally I realized your promise had been given on the spur of the moment, that you had intended for me to learn how to whistle that very week. And then you'd forgotten about it when I let you down on yet one more thing.
"But even then I never quit practicing because whistling had meant something to you once and just maybe you was feeling a little pleasure those times when I whistled near you. I still ain't good. But Daddy, I'm the best whistler I'll ever be."
When I stopped I saw tears, silver tears, squinting from Daddy's gray eyes. "Son," he said. "I ain't got a dollar right now. But the way you've learned to whistle is worth a thousand."
And hearing him say that was worth more than all the money in the world. My eyes were glistening so bad I could hardly open the door to hurry outside before my heart busted open.
"There's a sucker
That may well be true, but P.T. Barnum did not say it, or think it.
The saying came from a competitor trying to explain away the flock of happy spenders surging through Barnum's doors. Barnum's favorite way of advertising was by being talked about. For instance, inside a room with numerous exhibits he put up a sign that said: "This way to the Egress."
Narrow-minded cynics believed that Barnum was trying to get a few pennies for re-entry tickets to those he fooled into leaving the exhibit. But no -- No! Barnum was simply advertising. The big fools weren't the ones that found themselves outside looking in; it was those who paid for tickets just to show their friends the Egress sign. Lin Stone
P.T. Barnum's book The Golden Rules For Making Money will reveal the solid secrets to super publicity he used to build a world wide reputation in a hurry!
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Lin Stone is an author, writer and photographer living in Mena Arkansas among the gentle mountains known as Ouachita. He writes about adventures and he writes about the peaceable things of this world.
Nurturing the family in these times, by Earl H. Roberts.
Some of J. T. Hale's ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence. Nathan Hale is counted as one of his relatives. (They come from the same Hale family) These are parts of his own personal heritage but ALL the signers of the Declaration are part of every American's heritage. That means Nathan Hale can be a hero to all of us. After all, if you go back far enough all of us are related to kings, queens, and all the other rapscallions too.
The recipe for keeping the modern family together still begins in the kitchen.
I've learned, I have! I've not had the best time of my life! But, I have learned to accept the bad with the good. You do not know what your life will bring tomorrow, so enjoy all that you've been given today.
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They sat around moping when Daddy died because he had not left them any legacy. They were so down in the mouth that I stood up and volunteered to pay Daddy back for that time he drove 350 miles to get me when my car blowed up and my whole family was stranded on the road. "I figure that kind of service call is worth a thousand dollars because he kind of done it on credit and I never paid the bill. I'll put that in the pot for yawl a legacy to divide up."
Down with the Willow... Daddy always was a better man than I; How do you deal with that? The Willow was bigger than both of us.
Pray for your spouse because in these treacherous times there are forces threatening us in the workplace as never before.
Whistle -- an inspirational Father's Day Story because the promises we forget are usually the ones never forgot.
The First Day of School is always the toughest, by Lin Stone
Pretty Pictures taken by a father who might could have been something. If only, if only.
Smiles, by Filomena Borsellino. A smile is the sweetest Treasure on Earth.
Michael was not my problem. When he first came to us he was a bundle of boyish energy, too large for his age and too bright for his years. It was said that he ran his poor grandmother to death, and having seen them together I believed it. It’s strange. All of us believed it, but none of us helped, not like we should have. Oh, we hoped she could hold out, and some of us probably prayed God would give her more strength. But somehow we all felt Michael was HER problem, and not ours.
The Ice Cream "Comb" by Rick Beneteau because Quitting is never an option.
Ice Memories that never get cold, by Lin Stone
I Can't Remember You: That first shock of being forgotten by someone we love is enough to turn our world upside down. All I could think of to say was, "I am someone you have been very kind to over many years."
Kids and Sunday School, by J. Edgar Hoover.
Grandma's Bath Tub, an essay of love by Lin Stone
Doing the Dishes: Take pride in who you are and what you like doing, even if there are some to this day who believe that gender should decide what we like or dislike and doing the dishes is for sissies.
Living with Spina Bifida, a poet's story.
The Hug.. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we can't get what we want until we give it away to someone else first.
Remember Grandpa: Nearly 17 years later, I can still hear grandpa's laughter, still smell grandma's coffee, still shiver at the memory of how cold those rivers were.
Why Teach Your Child To Read? Reading problems are a further challenge to our world by contribute significantly to the perpetuation of socio-economic, racial and ethnic inequities. However it is not just poor and minority children who struggle with reading. According to the 2002 national report card on reading by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), most of our children (64%) are less than proficient in reading even after 12 years of our attempts to teach them.
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