ALL ABOARD | Skitching through life and other childhood fables

As the joys of Thanksgiving baste our turkeys, hams and prime rib during the next few days, let me offer each of you a most appreciative “thank you,” “gracias,” and “mahalo.”

Without you,

I have no one with whom to share this privileged space.

Without you, I have no space.

That having been said, let us joyfully continue to instill this space with a few observations, conclusions and occasional punctuations.

Why did the pilgrims’ pants always fall down?

Because they wore their belt buckles on their hats.

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

Unique up on it.

How do you catch a tame rabbit?

The tame way. Unique up on it.

I hope those last three turkeys will get you through the coming days. You never know when you’ll have to do some sit-down comedy with your grandkids.

Fortunately, they don’t sit still long.

I have noticed the same to be true of me. I don’t sit still too long unless I am watching a movie, typing with three fingers or sleeping in my chair.

My basset hound Norton, who might have been 31 today if I had not switched him from wet to dry food in his final years, had no trouble being still.

In fact, Norton seemed to be still even when he was moving.

The main reason I bought a basset hound in 1977 was to force myself to slow down. I sure didn’t need an Irish setter or a Jack Russell terrier.

Norton was slower than a stopped train.

His full speed ahead was rarely achieved unless he was in my Volvo on an interstate, or had picked up the scent of a deer.

Then, Norton had speed.

The kind of speed I had not seen since running from the Columbus, Ohio police after being caught skitching.

In case “skitching” is not in your vocabulary, it has nothing to do with Skitch Henderson, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson’s musical sidekick on the Tonight Show.

During the 1950s, if the snow was right and the roads were packed perfectly, we would hitch onto a rear car bumper with our gloved hands and skitch, literally sliding on the icy roads, in our Bass Weejun penny loafers.

As I recall dad’s facial expression as he entered the police station wearing his bathrobe, I probably should have taken the bus.

Those quiet rides with dad from the police station were always the loudest of all. I could hear both our hearts pounding.

But, for once, I sure got still.

For me, being still is an acquired skill yet to be acquired.

Being in a hurry, in our family, is part of the process, part of the lifestyle.

Whether we are on our way to the store or looking for our keys to get there, we Freeman folks are in motion.

That having been said, I’m out of here.

As good ‘ol Willie says, “Still is still moving to me.”

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