Let’s assume you’re willing to broaden your definition of “creative process” to include this weekly offering. With that as a given, let me confess that the creative process is a strange animal. Sometimes it flows like the Rio Grande during rainy season. At other times — well, you get the picture.
While doing some end-of-summer sorting, I discovered bits and pieces of a handful of unfinished column ideas that started like Fourth of July fireworks, but after a couple of paragraphs had run their course. That’s not to say there wasn’t a kernel of genius in them; no, not at all. There just wasn’t enough substance to cover the requisite 700 or so words needed to fill his space.
So, here are some bits and pieces of columns that might have been:
I’ll concede to looking like a Model T in a world of Smart Cars, but honestly, I’m doing the best I can to move up to a Model A.
I hooked up the WiFi at home, although for the life of me I don’t know what I did to make it work. This is not to be confused, of course, with Hi-Fi, with which my collection of 33-rpm records remains accessible. Now, I’m seeing advertisements for something called MiFi. I throw up my hands in surrender.
One technological innovation I’ve yet to embrace is Facebook. My wife, though, decided a few months ago to join (or whatever they call doing what you have to do to participate), if only to keep closer tabs on our adult children in Austin.
I dismissed it as another way to waste time, but then she started coming back from the computer with all sorts of information not only about the kids, but also with tidbits of knowledge about people we know… and are getting to know even better. So-and-so wasn’t at your meeting because he is out-of-town visiting in-laws. So-and-so had a rough day at work. So-and-so is being treated for a rash.
This is all vital information, I suppose, but still, I was skeptical. Then, I learned that churches are getting on Facebook. And to top it all off, I got an e-mail saying Texas’ daily newspaper association is now on Facebook.
Memo to self: You’re falling behind again.
From the “where are they now?” file:
Dann Barger brought me a clipping of my column from 1994 about a 14-year-old girl at what is now the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex who ran away from detention 40 years ago tomorrow. On the 25th anniversary of that event, the girl — who ultimately wound up in Chicago, married and had four children — was trying to locate the young man who unwittingly facilitated her escape by giving her a ride toward Fort Worth.
The young man, who she believed may have been a Howard Payne football player, shared his Christian faith with her before they parted company. She remembered him for his honesty, as well as his doubts about whether he was doing the right thing after she told him her story.
In those early days of the Brownwood State Home and School for Girls, juveniles didn’t have to commit serious crimes to land in the juvenile justice system. This teen, Karen Prewitt, whose nickname was Star, had merely run away from home. In the summer of 1969, the state school gym wasn’t available, so girls were taken to the Howard Payne gym. That’s where she made her escape.
Barger, who has since retired from TYC, said Star contacted him the way a number of former students at the Brownwood facility have. The phone will ring and someone will ask, “Are you the Dann Barger who worked at the state school?”
Dann never heard if Star was able to locate the young man who gave her that ride. It’s been 15 years since we mentioned it here, and now it’s been 40 years since it all happened. This might have been a much longer update had we been able to locate Star ourselves.
We’ve not given up on finding her, though. I’ll keep you posted.
Communications technology has become such a big part of our lives, there are those of us who suffer withdrawal pains when we are forced to do without it. But when that happens without your knowledge, going cold turkey is really not so bad.
We enjoyed a very relaxing Sunday at our house recently, until there was a knock on the front door around dusk.
“You might check your phone, it’s been busy all day,” a good friend said.
Indeed. The caller ID showed the last call to have come in late Saturday afternoon.
Then, panic set in. No phone! Oh, thank goodness for cell service. But that’s not the same. I want this fixed!
It was an anxious Monday morning, but repair was prompt and thorough. And I ordered service on the Wi-Fi.
Whew, that was a close one…
Gene Deason is editor of the Brownwood Bulletin. His column appears on Friday. He may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.