By: Steve Trubilla
So, what do you think is important, is it money, friends, that job you have, the next promotion, or maybe an election? What is it all worth? How do you know? Simple things like a stone will bring you to it.
Not long ago I went for a walk. I stood in front of a stone with my brother.
Closing my eyes, the present was to the past a visitor. I could hear children running about, nine of them. There was the smell of sulfur from a coal cooking stove in the kitchen; boiling water for a pot of oatmeal on the front glowing red stove plate. An old tea kettle was whistling away.
The loving threat of, "Hurry or you will be late for school; button up that coat," was part of the chaos.
So off they all went as a woman started looking for bottles to return for a refund, to find money for a loaf of bread, worried how she was going to feed the children when they returned home.
Left out of the world of material things, she always found a way to get what was needed.
The hands of the clock moved with the setting sun. Pots and pans clanking in a white chipped porcelain sink. As this woman, old before her time, was singing along with the two dollar radio she was grateful to have.
Supper and baths finished, they all sat fixed on the Three Stooges, watching the black and white television set, missing the channel changing knob, picture rolling, fading in and out.
Suddenly a noise, maybe the sound of distant traffic intruding, I am not sure what it was. The moment surreal had ended; the time had come to leave.
Yes, I went for a walk to where my mother is buried. It had been many years since she had passed, and my first visit since.
Took me a lifetime to really understand not having things does not make people poor. In those days everyone was poor, no one seemed to know it. They made do with what they had. In part I think because the adults had endured the Great Depression. They knew what going to bed hungry was, and felt the sting of winter without a warm coat. Indoor plumbing for many was a luxury.
How terrible people have it today, not having free college, being asked to show an ID when they vote, playing sports as they show contempt for our flag and national anthem, and having to use the respective bathroom of their gender.
Yes, it is so unreasonable to be expected to listen to teachers and police officers when approached by them as they perform their duty and jobs.
The challenges today are nothing compared to what those that came before us faced. How many people today do you know of that died from polio, or small pox? There was a time when the pain of death at birth was common place, now abortion is.
We live in an era when anyone feeling they have been wronged can gather with others, burn, loot and even commit murder to force everyone to submit. Have you heard the term micro aggression? Meaning if you think you have been wronged, you have been.
The story I have shared here is not uncommon for many of a certain age. My purpose in sharing it is to cause people to think, and to maybe take a young person on a walk to their history and heritage.
By the experience, they may realize they have it much better than they think; an exercise in humility.
America for all of its turmoil is still the place people by the millions run to for freedom and liberty. Our youth need to know this, and to feel the pride that comes with self-reliance.
There is a real movement today to re-write history. Across the country monuments are being taken down. Buildings and streets are being renamed. Graves are being desecrated. Even television shows are being cancelled because they do not fit a certain agenda. This movement is even taking hold here in Franklin County, NC. Not that long ago historical records dating back to the Civil War were burned. It has faded from the headlines. The next generation will never know it happened.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. - Ronald Reagan