2018-12-01 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ Mcdonald

I can imagine that the hills in the Land of the Endless Mountain were alive this week, not with the sound of music, but with nimrods clad in bright orange. In some cases, like primates from the jungles, they were hanging out of their tree stands. From a distance, I imagine they looked like oranges in a Florida grove.

Over the past 50 years the way of the deer hunter has really changed. Tree stands, camo clothing, scent blockers and weapons that would stop a tank seem to be the norm.

Whatever happened to the hunting garb that used to be turned out just down the road in Woolrich, Pennsylvania? I guess that the Woolrich Company did not update with the times and was left behind.

About 10 years ago, Shirley and I stopped at the Woolrich factory and were browsing around their showroom when I spotted this bright red flannel shirt. I tried it on and it fit me like a glove. When I took it off to take to the sales counter, I looked at the tag and it said, “Made in Mexico.”

Well, I hung it back on the rack and that was that. I am a diehard who gets turned off if a product doesn’t say, “Made in the USA.” Of course, the Lord works in strange ways and I ended up getting two of those Mexican shirts for Christmas.

We enjoyed another Thanksgiving Day. Besides the blessing for the abundance of food, I want to thank the Lord for my family and all of my friends.

Good coffee is a pleasure and good friends are a treasure. I have a truckload of friends who I love like I love my family.

We should all tell the Lord how lucky we are to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are still the envy of the whole world.

They say that as you grow older you should count your blessings. That might be okay for some old folks, but it does not satisfy me. I have a bucket list with a lot of leftovers I will not get done.

I always wanted to go to Australia, but that is one thing I know will not get accomplished. I also wanted a Cadillac, but since I don’t drive any longer that is also off the list.

A lot of people had their Christmas lights up before Thanksgiving. With my family not in this area, it’s hard for me to get in the spirit, but I am going to try.

I just hope the troops in the war zone have a good meal for Christmas. I am sure the politicians who started that mess will get their bellies full.

After Thanksgiving came Black Friday. I already wrote enough about that nonsense in my last column.

As expected, there were brawls in the aisles, trampling at the entrances and a couple of shootings and stabbings thrown in for good measure.

Today dawned cool, but by 10 am the temperature was up to 70. I had to shed my light jacket. I am not trying to rub it in to you folks back in Pennsylvania.

I saw a news article about the successful bear-hunting season. My hunting days are over, but I remember all the good times, especially at camp on the Saturday before the season opened on Monday. The hunting stories were always the best you ever heard.

We also had some memorable bear seasons. One year up at the In-Crowd Camp, I saw seven bears on the Friday and Saturday before the season started. We went out for all three days of the season and did not see any bears or even any tracks.

Another time I went bear hunting up at Ken Gerg’s camp. His nephew Johnny put one down, but he let it get up and get away. Ken really peeled him good over that.

“Always give your animal another shot, even if he is down,” was Ken’s advice. “A good hunter never lets an animal suffer.”

I bet Johnny never forgot those words of wisdom and took them to his grave with him. He was a fine young man cut down by cancer long before his time. Johnny, you are missed.

I am glad that I have memories of happier times in this land of ours.

I remember when my brother came home from that terrible World War II. Our family was so happy that he had survived and still had all of his body parts.

Our neighbor who joined the Army with my brother didn’t make it. He was killed by a sniper at the Battle of the Bulge.

When I was stationed in Germany in 1960, I visited his grave at the U.S. cemetery in the little country of Luxembourg. He was buried not far from General Patton, who insisted on being buried with his troops as a regular soldier.

Patton was a leader and very rarely is any leader a popular person. To this day, a lot of people I talk to do not like what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did for this country.

A lot of these so-called historians are the wealthy of this day and age. They enjoy holding down the middle class. This is a free country and they are entitled to their opinions.

We needed leadership and guts in Washington, along with a dose of intelligence, and FDR had the right combination. Most people do not understand the times we were living in back then.

Today the outcry is to soak the rich with taxes so they can support the poor. The real solution is to get rid of the tax shelters and deductions that the wealthy have politicked into the tax code.

My top-ranked wish is that we could put something in the water we all drink that would get rid of the greed.

These two blockheads got lost while hunting and were caught in the woods after dark. When they realized their predicament, the one guy said, “If you shoot three times, it will let the rescue people know where we are.”

His hunting partner shot three times, but no one answered.

“Shoot again,” his buddy said.

The guy doing the shooting said, “I can’t. I’m out of arrows.”

Keep your musket handy and your powder dry. Do not be afraid to greet others with a hearty “Merry Christmas!” It can lift their spirits in ways you will never know.

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