“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” ~ A pangram from my high school typing teacher
OK, you gotta bear with me on this week’s column.
I’m taking you on a carpet ride through my brain, through my unconscious/conscious thoughts.
I know, it’s gonna be scary.
I’ve said more than a few times in this space, each of us is the sum of our experience.
Think about that one for a minute — or an hour if you like, if you have the time and inclination.
There are more than 331 million Americans on these shores. OK, there are a LOT more Americans living in “America,” since America also includes Canadians, Mexicans, Brazilians, Argentines, Bolivians, El Salvadorians and on and on.
North America, Central America and South America are all Americans too.
We here in the U.S. just don’t seem to recognize that fact. We think we are special.
That’s up to history and 500 or 1,000 years in the future. Somebody else is going to have to make that decision. We will all be gone.
But of those roughly 331 million Americans who live in the good old US of A, each of us is different.
I don’t care how much you agree with a friend or acquaintance or your uncle Harry (I had an uncle Harry and a great-grandpa Harry), each and every one of us is the sum of our different experience — and think differently.
I absolutely embrace the fact I was born and grew up in a small town in southwest Garfield County, and the sum of all my experience is who I am today.
I have a huge amount of fond memories for all the teachers of my youth, for helping me to get from my school days to this day.
Bumpy ride sometimes, but most times pretty darn good.
My significant other texted me the other day, asking what is unique about the sentence “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
That question came right out of left field.
For about 10 seconds I had nothing. I certainly was familiar with the phrase. I focused on her word “unique,” and from somewhere in the recesses of my brain came the text retort, “it’s a sentence that contains all the letters of our alphabet.”
I cannot for the life of me tell you how that answer popped out of my brain, other than I tend to remember the most mundane, the most insignificant of trivia.
It’s my thing — I’ve always had it.
The phrase was from typing class, probably my sophomore or junior year at Waukomis High. My typing teacher had uttered it and I somehow remembered it from about 1966.
Yep, more than a few years for that phrase to be bouncing around my brain. I had remembered it because I must have paid attention in school way more than I realized.
The same for all those Sunday school classes my mom made me and my sister attend.
I’m sure I cussed all the teachers of my youth a time or two in my mind way back when.
That’s what students do when they are in middle of absorbing lessons, life experiences — life and what to expect as they graduate into the general population.
That’s all we have to prepare us for, well … this!
The past nine days of snow and sub-sub freezing temperatures will be an experience we will never forget.
I somehow — with a bit of prodding from my significant other — found the wherewithal to get on my belly in —5 degree weather, in the dark, barely squeezing through an outside crawl space under the house, over snow and ice, with only a long-sleeve shirt and thin thermal garments underneath, to tape a pipe heater to a frozen water line.
When you’re on your back, on the frozen ground, trying to get your cold fingers to work and cut electrical tape to attach that warming device, you get an entirely new perspective on your life.
The bitter cold brought clarity.
Thank goodness it was cold, as I kept telling myself, that there were no varmints to watch out for under the house — no (shudder) snakes.
Just me and my cold fingers and nose.
Somehow, I started thinking of my school days, of warm steam radiators and thawing out after walking to school. That’s what kept creeping into my mind.
I remembered teachers with the last names of Thomas, Gifford, Gossett, Atherton, Kelly, Throckmorton, Domnick, Milacek, Koch, Falls, Hays, Unruh, Braley, Fox, Oberlander, Rose, McPherson and Mrs. Taylor, my typing teacher — and I’m sure a few others I can’t remember — who indirectly helped me write this column.
They helped me to think. That’s what teachers do, and I had some really, really good ones over 12 years.
So, thanks Waukomis — with apologies to my English teachers — I like to think you done good.
Christy is news editor in charge of the layout desk and a columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. His column blog is at www.tinyurl.com/Column-Blog.