One of my favorite politicians is Howard “Cotton” Ivy. He is an old “yeller dawg” Democrat from Decatur County, Tennessee who served in the legislature for a number of years, and was Tennessee’s Commissioner of Agriculture under Governor Ned Ray McWherter.
Several years ago Cotton joined former Tennessee State Senator Roy Herron in writing a delightfully-titled book, Tennessee Political Humor: Some of These Jokes You Voted For.
The title of the 1966 surf movie said it all: The Endless Summer.
I fondly recall when summer was long and seemingly endless. When I was a boy, summer began with the end of the school year around Memorial Day and extended over three months, not ending until the day after Labor Day. Other than Vacation Bible School and a week at Boy Scout Camp, there was basically nothing on my agenda during the endless summers decades ago. My days were spent swimming in a nearby river or riding my bicycle anywhere I wanted to go. My nights were spent chasing lightening bugs or playing hide and go seek with the other kids in my neighborhood while the crickets chirped.
But summers are no longer endless, even for our children.
On Sunday over two billion sports fans across the planet will be watching the World Cup Finals between France and Croatia.
We American football fans who tune in will be watching “soccer.” But in all other nations, the fans will be watching “football,” which in the truest sense of the word it really is.
My late grandfather called golf “cow pasture pool.” He made fun of city fellers who spend their weekends whacking a little white ball around a well-mowed pasture.
My grandfather grew up in Deanburg, Tennessee, where they had several cow pastures but not one golf course.
When I was a little boy, my family and I never missed the annual broadcast of the Miss America Pageant. On a Saturday night in September, we would gather on our living room couch in front of our Sylvania small screen TV that looked like a washing machine with rabbit ears antenna on the top. We would even attach aluminum foil to the tips of the rabbit ears so that we could get better reception.
And then Bert Parks would appear on our TV screen in glorious black and white live from the Atlantic City Convention Hall.